Christian Boltanski's career in art began when he left school at twelve to paint and draw. Since the 1960s his subject matter has been human experience and memory; his materials anything from photographs to biscuit tins.
Boltanski is one of the exponents of conceptual art. In several of his pieces he has used second-hand objects e.g. clothes to recall the unknown owners through their personal effects. Today Boltanski lives in Malakoff, a Paris suburb.
In 1973 the exhibition "Les Inventaires" brought him on a tour of several European museums, including Louisiana the following year. He has participated in numerous exhibitions all over the world, including Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, "Menschlich" at Kunsthalle Wien (1995), "Reconstitution" at Stedelijk van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and Whitechapel Art Gallery in London (1990), "Lessons of Darkness" at Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (1988), Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Malmö Konsthall, Retrospective at National Museum of Contemporary Art in Oslo (1994), Museum Ludwig Köln and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Regina Sofia in Madrid, "Made in France" at Centre George Pompidou, Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris (1997).
Furthermore he has participated in Documenta (1972, 1987), Carnegie International at Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh (1991) and represented France at the Venice Biennial (1993, 1996). Today he is considered one of France's most important living artists.
In 1998 he created the exhibition Disappearance especially for ARKEN's architecture. In connection with this exhibition the museum acquired the work Les lits. Moreover Boltanski is represented at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, De Pont Foundation for Contemporary Art in the Netherlands, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, High Museum of Art in Georgia, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Missouri, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Tate Gallery in London. Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt Am Main, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Ludwig Museum im Deutschherrenhaus, Koblenz, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, CAPC Musée d'Art contemporain, Bordeaux, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Centre Pompidou - Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris.