Born on September 6.
Boltanski’s early years are marked by the Nazi occupation of France, which forces his family, who are Jewish, to go into hiding.
Begins to paint after a childhood without formal schooling or official training in the arts.
His earliest works are large-format figurative paintings with macabre historical themes.
Gives up painting to work with photography as well as materials such as modeling clay, personal artifacts, and postcards, creating works that reflect on life, the passage of time, memory, and his own childhood. Has his first solo exhibition, La vie impossible de Christian Boltanski, at the Théâtre le Ranelagh in Paris.
Publishes his first books, Recherche et présentation de tout ce qui reste de mon enfance, 1944–1950 and Reconstitution d’un accident qui ne m’est pas encore arrivé et où j’ai trouvé la mort, both published by Galería Givaudan in Paris.
Exhibits at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
Takes part in Documenta 5 in Kassel, Germany.
The exhibition Les inventaires opens at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, later traveling to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst in Humlebaek, Denmark, and Centre National d’Art Contemporain in Paris.