Solo show. The artist's 'pollen pieces' can take 2-3 hours to create. He commences at the centre of an imagined square and quietly taps at the pollen from its muslin sieve...from where it drifts to the ground slowly forming a luminous and fragrant square. In another room delicate offerings of rice and golden pollen from hazelnut are placed beside wax and marble houses.
Wolfgang Laib likes to retreat from worldly affairs, limiting his dealings solely to nature. Nature is the point of departure for his work. He seeks the motifs for his art from the natural world, creating beautiful installations using pollen, milk, beeswax, marble, rice, and sealing wax. He lives and works embedded in the seasons: gathering materials outdoors when the dandelions, hazelnut, and pines are blooming and in winter working in his studio where he polishes marble for his milk stones.
Wolfgang Laib is a renowned international artist who has been exhibiting since the mid 1970s. He has had solo exhibitions at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Pompidou Centre, Paris; and LA MOCA alongside numerous other shows at galleries throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. This will be the first opportunity for a New Zealand audience to view works by this major artist.
A meticulous and patient creator Wolfgang Laib carefully crafts his renowned ziggurat sculptures through melding honey wax slabs into powerful structures. His 'pollen pieces' can take 2-3 hours to create - the pollen itself having taken 6 months to collect. He commences at the centre of an imagined square and quietly taps at the pollen from its muslin sieve …from where it drifts to the ground slowly forming a luminous and fragrant square. In another room delicate offerings of rice and golden pollen from hazelnut are placed beside wax and marble houses. Wolfgang Laib's work is both beautiful and contemplative to behold.
Laib has spoken about the 'cement desert' in which we live, disconnected from nature. To stand before one of his pollen pieces is to reconnect and have your senses renewed. He explains 'I wanted to have this very intense, concentrated experience… So, the meadow with flowers where I collect the pollen is something very different from how you see it here, a real concentrated experience without distractions, nothing else.'
Wolfgang Laib is toured by ifa and brought to New Zealand by the Goethe-Institut. It is supplemented by an interview with the artist produced by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. An illustrated catalogue is also available from the gallery bookshop (RRP$25).
An exhibition of the Institut fur Auslandbeziehunge/Insitute for Cultural Relations. Admission charge. IFA logo. Goethe-Institut. Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising
Image: Wolfgang Laib The Rice Meals 1998; 30 brass plates, rice, pollen from hazelnut; Collection of ifa, Stuttgart
Opening: December 10
Corner Wellesley & Lorne Streets - Auckland
Hours: Open daily 10.00am-5.00pm, except for Christmas Day and Easter Friday.