Here you will find both detailed and basic basic information about the documenta in general as well as about the individual documenta exhibitions. In the sections about the various documentas (documenta 1, documenta 2, etc.) you will find relevant details about each exhibition and also a text about each of the exhibitions by the art critic Dirk Schwarze.
Together with the Biennale in Venice , the documenta in Kassel is seen as the most significant cyclically recurring exhibition for modern and contemporary art in the world. Indeed, many judge it to be THE world art exhibition. Thanks to the initiative taken by the artist and designer Arnold Bode, it first took place in 1955 and initially was staged at 4-year intervals. Since 1972, it has taken place every 5 years. Since documenta 5, an artistic director is named for each documenta exhibition.
All documenta catalogs together on one shelf. Some of the exhibition catalogs can still be purchased in the documenta Archive Shop. The inexpensive and attractive postcard set which features postcards with the official poster image of each documenta is a perfect small gift for art-loving friends. A larger gift could be the poster series itself, consisting of high-quality reproductions of each original poster for documenta exhibition 1-12 in their original size.
Literature and research suggestions
A brief, informative and up-to-date overview of the history of the documenta's remarkable success story is available (in German) in the small volume "13 x documenta , 1955-2013" (70 p.). The handy A5 format publication can be ordered for 2 EUR + postage at the documenta Archiv. Additional documenta literature is available in our Shop or in the catalog of the documenta Archive Library.
Thanks to the documenta and Museum Fridericianum gGmbH – an entity receiving federal, state and local funding which is responsible for the business organization of each documenta exhibition – the web sites of the documenta exhibitions 10-13 are still online and available today, providing a helpful basis for scholarly research in the Archive.
Below you will find a list with links to all of the basic information for each documenta exhibition - financing, organizing entity, artistic director, number of exhibits, artists and visitors, budget, etc.
Our website section Exhibition spaces of documenta lists all the buildings and places where a documenta exhibition has been staged throughout the history of the documenta.