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a sculpture of nine brass boats with mounds of rice installed in a Venetian church

Installation View, Chiesa delle Penitenti Fondamenta Cannaregio, 58th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2019

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 (2000-03). Subsequent solo museum exhibitions include the Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou (2004); Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2005-06); MUAC (Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo), Mexico City (2009); The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (2009-10); 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. A major solo exhibition of his work was presented at MASI Lugano in Switzerland in 2017-18. Most recently, Museo Novecento organized an exhibition at four important sites throughout Florence, including the Museo del Convento di San Marco, the Cappella dei Magi at the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the Cappella Rucellai at the Museo Marino Marini, and the Cappella Pazzi, Complesso Monumentale di Santa Croce (2019-20). 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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Artworks

Artworks Thumbnails

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 feet
Studio Anselm Kiefer, La Ribaute, Barjac, France

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 103 x 12 inches (17,2 x 262 x 30,5 cm) overall
SW 13141

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

Wolfgang Laib
Pollen Jars on a Shelf, 2003
three jars of pollen: Buttercup (80), Hazelnut (80), Moss (78)
dimensions variable
SW 03024

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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 feet
Studio Anselm Kiefer, La Ribaute, Barjac, France

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
Passageway, 2013
5 brass ships, rice, wood and steel
6 3/4 x 103 x 12 inches (17,2 x 262 x 30,5 cm) overall
SW 13141

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

Wolfgang Laib
Pollen Jars on a Shelf, 2003
three jars of pollen: Buttercup (80), Hazelnut (80), Moss (78)
dimensions variable
SW 03024