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Wolfgang Laib

Wolfgang Laib

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. In 2000, the American Federation of the Arts organized a retrospective, which 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). Subsequent solo museum exhibitions include 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 opened at The Phillips Collection in March of the same year. Most recently, a major solo exhibition of his work was presented at MASI Lugano in Switzerland (2017-18). Laib was awarded the Praemium Imperiale award for sculpture in 2015. His work is in public and private collections worldwide, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; 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, 2013 and 2018. He lives and works between Hochdorf, Germany, New York, and Ammayanayakkanur, India.

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Wolfgang Laib

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

Wolfgang Laib

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

Wolfgang Laib

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

Wolfgang Laib

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

Wolfgang Laib

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

Wolfgang Laib

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

Wolfgang Laib

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

Wolfgang Laib

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

Wolfgang Laib

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

Wolfgang Laib

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

Wolfgang Laib

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

Wolfgang Laib

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

Summer Exhibition
Summer Exhibition
7 July - 9 September 2006
Sperone Westwater, New York
Wolfgang Laib
Wolfgang Laib
Nowhere-Everywhere
2 May - 13 June 1998
Sperone Westwater, New York
Sculpture
Sculpture
Anselmo, Boetti, Laib, Merz, Nauman, Paolini, Pistoletto, Vital, Zorio
13 September – 18 October 1997
Sperone Westwater, New York
Wolfgang Laib
Wolfgang Laib
16 September - 21 October 1995
Sperone Westwater, New York
Wolfgang Laib
Wolfgang Laib
9 January – 27 February 1993
Sperone Westwater, New York
Wolfgang Laib
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

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