Stephen Kaltenbach (born 1940) lives and works in California. A pioneering conceptual artist in the 1960s Kaltenbach participated in such landmark exhibitions as Harald Szeemann’s When Attitudes Become Form, Kynaston McShine’s Information and Lucy Lippard’s 955,000. He left New York and the art world in 1970 to becoming a professor and regionalist artist in California, while continuing to make conceptual work in secret. In recent years Kaltenbach has returned to the international art world amidst growing interest in his work and unique project of withdrawal.
His hallmark works include ads taken out anonymously in Artforum instructing readers to “Tell a lie,” “Start a rumor,” “Teach Art,” “Build a reputation” and “Become a legend”; his ongoing series of Time Capsules—welded metal containers bearing inscriptions such as “OPEN BEFORE DEACCESSION”—and cast bronze plaques meant to be embedded in sidewalks emblazoned with statements like “ART WORKS.”
Recently Kaltenbach was included in the traveling exhibition State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970 and solo exhibitions at Bert Green Fine Art, Chicago; Specific Object, New York; and Another Year in LA, Los Angeles. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and the Staatliche Museen, Berlin.