Haim Steinbach was born in Rehovot (Israel) in 1944. In 1957, he moved with his family to New York, where he still lives.
He received his BFA from Pratt Institute in 1968 and an MFA from Yale in 1973. His first solo museum exhibition was in 1988, at the CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux.
For more than four decades, Haim Steinbach has explored the psychological, aesthetic, cultural and ritualistic aspects of collecting and arranging already existing objects. His work engages the concept of “display” as a form that foregrounds objects, raising the consciousness of the play of presentation.
For Documenta IX (1992), he exhibited a collection of objects belonging to Jan Hoet, the director of Documenta.
Haim Steinbach has participated in the Venice Biennale (1993 and 1997), the Biennale de Lyon (2000), and the Paris Trienniale (2012). Important exhibitions of his work have taken place at Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam (1992), the Solomon Guggenheim Museum (with Ettore Spalletti, in 1993), the Kunsthalle Ritter in Austria (1994), the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea (1995), the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna (1997–98), the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2000), and at the Berkeley Art Museum and the Pacific Film Archive (2005), the Statens Museum fur Kunst in Copenhagen (2013-14), the Menil Collection, Houston (2014), the Magasin III, Jaffa (2018), the Museum Kurhaus Kleve (2018), the Museion, Bozen (2019).
For six months in 2012, the Artist’s Institute of New York devoted a series of exhibitions to the artist’s works. In 2013, the CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art in Annandale-on-Hudson presented the exhibition once again the world is flat. It travelled to the Serpentine Gallery in London and to the Kunsthalle Zurich in 2014.
The artist’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Tate Modern in London, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Dallas Museum of Art.