Wolfgang Laib
Wolfgang Laib
11 Sep—28 Nov 2015

Wolfgang Laib

11 Sep—28 Nov 2015
Buchmann Box
Press release

The Buchmann Gallery is delighted to present a series of new beeswax sculptures by Wolfgang Laib (*1950 in Metzingen, Germany), which the artist created this summer in his studio. 

 

Positioned on a wall bracket that spans the entire breadth of the room, these small objects made of fragrant, golden-yellow beeswax have a sensuous and very compelling presence. Each object is hand-shaped using 5cm slabs of beeswax. The concentration and purity of the natural material gives the sculptures a serene beauty and a certain sacrosanctity. Wolfgang Laib succeeds in transcending the pure form, for instance a ziggurat, to imbue each piece with an auratic presence. The pieces have an astonishing power, particularly if one considers that it takes around 150,000 bees to produce one kilogram of beeswax. Since ancient times, humans have used beeswax for myriad purposes; cult objects and grave goods shaped of beeswax have been found in the tombs of the pharaohs, and beeswax writing tablets, amulets and sculptures are known to have been used in antiquity.   

 

Alongside the wax sculptures, Wolfgang Laib has also created two bright yellow mountains of hazelnut pollen, collected by the artist himself, which complement the wax sculptures on the shelf. The potentiality of these works is vast, and it extends far beyond the empirical. One is reminded of Wolfgang Laib’s famous work, which comprises five mountains of pollen in a row called “Die fünf unbesteigbaren Berge / The Five Mountains Not to Climb on”. Wolfgang Laib continually shifts and dissolves the scales of large and small. 

 

The Museum of Modern Art New York honoured Wolfgang Laib’s singular and deeply engaging work with one of the artist’s large pollen installations in 2013; the museum’s collection also includes a large beeswax room.

 

For additional information on the artist or for visual materials on the works in the exhibition, please do not hesitate to contact the gallery at any time.

Wolfgang Laib

Wolfgang Laib

Born 1950 in Metzingen. Lives and works in Southern Germany.

Education
1968-1974 Studied Medicine University of Tuebingen
Grants and Awards

2015 Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture, The Japan Art Foundation

Solo Exhibitions

2022
2021
2020
2018
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
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Group Exhibitions

2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
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1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
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1981
1980
Selected Collections

Kunstmuseum Bonn 

Kunstmuseum Stuttgart

Neue Pinakothek, Munich

Sprengel Museum, Hannover

Kolumba Diözesanmuseum, Cologne

Centre Pompidou, Paris 

CAPC, Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux 

Collections de l’Etat Français, France

Musée d’art contempoarin, Nîmes, France

Musée départemental de Rochechouart, Rochechouart 

Museé de Grenoble

Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin 

De Pont Foundation, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Kunsthaus, Zürich

LAC Museum of Contemporary Art, Lugano

Kunstmuseum St. Gallen

The Art Institute of Chicago 

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

The Museum of Modern Art, New York

The Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.

San Francisco Museum of Art

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki

Toyota Municipal Art Museum, Toyota