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Wolfgang Laib

gallery installation view of a wax ziggurat sculpture

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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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

The Brooklyn Rail logo
Wolfgang Laib with Phong Bui - Part I
by Phong Bui
12 April 2018
Blouin Artinfo logo
Wolfgang Laib Lays Out His Postmodern Pastoralist Art at MoMA
By Ben Davis
24 January 2013
The Wall Street Journal logo
Pollinating MoMA
By Ellen Gamerman
24 January 2013
Observer logo
Wolfgang Pluck
By Dan Duray
21 January 2013
The New York Times logo
The Phillips Commissions Wolfgang Laib Wax Room
By Carol Vogel
20 July 2012
Art in America logo
Wolfgang Laib: Transcendent Offerings
By Carol Diehl
March 2001
Artforum logo
Wolfgang Laib: Sperone Westwater
By Frances Richard
October 1998
Sperone Westwater logo
Press Kit