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Etel Adnan, installation view of 38 untitled paintings, 1959-2010, at Documenta 13
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Documenta 2012

by Rachel Corbett

Documenta has never been a cheery affair. The citywide, twice-a-decade art exhibition was launched to lift the spirits of a German town laid waste by Allied air raids on Kassel during World War II. The first Documenta in 1955 reintroduced Nazi-banned “degenerate art,” while the latest edition, June 9-Sept. 16, 2012, gathers 150 artists to look at other “moments of trauma, at turning points, accidents, catastrophes, crises -- events that mark moments when the world changes.”


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