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"Wolfgang Laib: A Retrospective"
2001-05-30 until 2001-09-02
Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas, TX, USA

Wolfgang Laib: A Retrospective, the most comprehensive survey ever held in the United States of the art of highly esteemed contemporary artist Wolfgang Laib, will open at the Dallas Museum of Art on May 30 and remain on view through September 2. Composed of approximately 24 sculptures and installations and 26 drawings, the exhibition traces the progression of Laib’s nearly 30-year career, from his early signature works, the milkstone and pollen pieces, to more recent large-scale installations of wax.

Laib’s works reflect his abiding interest in nature, filtered through his interpretation of Eastern and Western belief systems. His objects and installations, composed of the most simple and basic natural elements such as milk, pollen, rice, beeswax, and marble, possess an inherent vitality and sensuousness and an austere beauty and spirituality, all informed by his studies of western medicine, the tenets of Buddhism, and the tradition of sculptural form in 20th-century art. The ritual of pouring milk into the marble will be started by Laib, who will be present for the installation of the exhibition. After his departure, the ritual will be continued by a Museum staff member, who will remove the milk and clean the marble at the close of each day. The process will continue with the re-pouring of milk the next day.

The ritual aspect extends not just to the objects, but to the way the objects must be attended to, Wylie says. In this way, Laib’s art reverberates beyond itself, and makes the museums that show it actually participate in the work, too. This immediacy translates to his audience, as well, and we are all looking forward to living with Wolfgang’s extraordinary art this summer.

Also included in the survey is a large selection of Laib’s exquisitely rendered drawings, which have rarely been exhibited.

A fully illustrated catalogue, with essays by exhibition guest curator Klaus Ottmann and Margit Rowell, formerly chief curator of the Department of Drawings at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and published by the American Federation of Arts accompanies the exhibition. Priced at $40, the catalogue will be available in the Museum Store.

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