Wolfgang Laib

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Born in 1950 in Metzingen, Germany, Wolfgang Laib originally studied medicine. Disillusioned with Western medicine, he came to view the natural sciences, as well as most other modern thinking, as limited for their dependency on logic and the material world. His search led him to Eastern spiritualism, philosophy and pre-Renaissance thought. Since 1975, Laib has worked exclusively as an artist and has built an international reputation. One of Laib’s retrospectives, organized by the American Federation of the Arts, traveled to the Hirshhorn Museum; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Dallas Museum of Art; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and Haus der Kunst, Munich, (2000-2003). Other recent museum solo exhibitions have been held at the Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou (2004); Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2005-2006); MUAC (Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo), Mexico City (2009); The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (2009-2010); and MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2010). In 2013, Laib’s Pollen from Hazelnut was on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Laib Wax Room at The Phillips Collection opened in March of the same year. In 2015, Laib was awarded the Praemium Imperiale award for sculpture. Laib’s work is in private and public collections worldwide, including the Hirshhorn Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; CAPC (Musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux); Kunstmuseum Bonn; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. Laib had his first solo show at Sperone Westwater in 1979 and subsequent exhibitions in 1981, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1998, and 2013.

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Wolfgang Laib

From the Known to the Unkown - To Where is Your Oracle Leading You?, 2011 - 2014 underground beeswax space,

192 x 1,800 x 72 ft

Studio Anselm Kiefer, La Ribaute, Barjac, France

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Wolfgang Laib
Passageway, 2013
7 brass ships, rice
18 x 128 x 102 inches (46 x 352,1 x 259,1 cm) overall
SW 13005

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Wolfgang Laib
Passageway, 2013
5 brass ships, rice, wood and steel
6 3/4 x 87 x 12 inches (17,2 x 221 x 30,5 cm) overall 
SW 13139

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Wolfgang Laib
Untitled, 2010
pencil and oil pastel on paper
11 5/8 x 9 5/8 inches (29,5 x 24,5 cm) sheet
SW 13076

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Wolfgang Laib
Untitled, 2010
pencil and oil pastel on paper
9 1/2 x 11 5/8 inches (24 x 29,5 cm) sheet
SW 13079

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Wolfgang Laib
Rice House, 2007
black burmese lacquer, rice and wood
15 x 24 3/8 x 24 3/8 inches (38 x 62 x 62 cm)
SW 13119

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Wolfgang Laib
Untitled, 2006
pencil and oil pastel on paper
20 1/2 x 16 1/2  inches (52 x 42 cm) sheet
SW 13040

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Wolfgang Laib
Without Beginning and Without End, 2005
beeswax, wooden understructure
173 1/4 x 37 3/8 x 167 5/8 inches (440 x 95 x 436 cm)
SW 13004

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Wolfgang Laib
Pollen Jars on Corner Shelf, 2003
3 pollen jars: buttercup, hazelnut and moss on a painted aluminum shelf
17 3/4 x 51 inches (45 x 130 cm) height from floor: 39 1/3 inches (1 meter)
SW 13020

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Wolfgang Laib
Untitled (Stairs), 2002
burmese red lacquer and wood
49 1/4 x 16 1/8 x 33 inches (125 x 41 x 84 cm)
SW 13021

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Wolfgang Laib
Rice House, 1996
white marble, rice
7 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 33 7/8 inches (19 x 19 x 86 cm)
SW 13049

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Wolfgang Laib
Untitled, 1995
beeswax
12 3/4 x 48 x 15 inches (32,4 x 121,9 x 38 cm) overall
SW 95198
Private Collection

Artist exhibitions

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Summer Sculpture
8 July - 15 August 2014
Sperone Westwater, New York
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White Marble & Paint
From the Antiquity to Now
21 February - 9 March 2014
Reformierte Dorfkirche, St. Moritz
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Wolfgang Laib
Without Beginning and Without End
1 March - 30 March 2013
Sperone Westwater, New York
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Wolfgang Laib
15 August - 30 September 2009
Sperone Westwater, Sent
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Summer Exhibition
7 July - 9 September 2006
Sperone Westwater, New York
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Wolfgang Laib
1 November 2002 through 15 December 2002
Sperone Westwater, New York
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Cosmologies
4 May - 30 August 2000
Sperone Westwater, New York
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Wolfgang Laib
Nowhere-Everywhere
2 May - 13 June 1998
Sperone Westwater, New York
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Sculpture
Anselmo, Boetti, Laib, Merz, Nauman, Paolini, Pistoletto, Vital, Zorio
13 September – 18 October 1997
Sperone Westwater, New York
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Wolfgang Laib
16 September - 21 October 1995
Sperone Westwater, New York
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Wolfgang Laib
9 January – 27 February 1993
Sperone Westwater, New York
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Wolfgang Laib
9 February – 2 March 1991
Sperone Westwater, New York
Wolfgang Laib
14 March - 31 March 1981
Sperone Westwater, New York
Wolfgang Laib
6 January - 27 January 1979
Sperone Westwater, New York

Artist press

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Wolfgang Laib: A Detail of Infinity
By Sarah Tanguy
March 2014
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Wolfgang Laib Lays Out His Postmodern Pastoralist Art at MoMA
By Ben Davis
24 January 2013
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Pollinating MoMA
By Ellen Gamerman
24 January 2013
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Wolfgang Pluck
By Dan Duray
21 January 2013
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The Phillips Commissions Wolfgang Laib Wax Room
By Carol Vogel
20 July 2012
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Wolfgang Laib: Transcendent Offerings
By Carol Diehl
March 2001
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Wolfgang Laib: Sperone Westwater
By Frances Richard
October 1998
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Press Kit