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The purity of Wolfgang Laib

ON347 - OCT/2014

Emotional depth and formal austerity characterise the work of the German Wolfgang Laib who, after exhibiting in the main international art centres such as the MOMA of New York, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, the De Pont Foundation Tilburg, MNCARS, the Centre Pompidou of Paris, the Kunsthaus Zürich or the Kunstmuseum Bonn, among others; this summer he has visited Barcelona in a show in which the artist has personally installed the pollen work, one of his most forceful and representative creations.

Interested from an early age in religion and asceticism, Laib’s work is characterised by its great purity and the use of natural materials with a powerful symbolic and living charge such as beeswax, milk, pollen and rice, through which he seeks to bring about an encounter between art, nature and spirituality. Conceived as a ritual, his works follow a cyclical process that aims to preserve a sense of purity connected with the natural order and which involves collecting the materials in specific seasons and places, meticulously mounting them for the exhibition and daily maintaining the pieces by recycling the elements that comprise them. A repetitive and introspective ritual in which each piece is renewed again and again over the years, expanding the circle with new creations.

His works are born at the very moment of their mise en scène by positioning the objects and a simple range of minimalist variations through which Laib opposes what in today’s world is considered an absolute necessity: constant innovation and the need to always be original.


Carrer de la Princesa 57, 08003 Barcelona (Spain)

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