Franz Erhard Walther

About this exhibition

Franz Erhard Walther’s exhibition offers an in-depth look at an influential German artist whose pioneering work straddles minimalist sculpture, conceptual art, abstract painting, and performance all while positing fundamental questions about the conventional idea of the artwork as an immutable, obdurate pedestalor wall-bound thing. Bringing together pivotal works made between the 1950s and the present, this exhibition focuses on Walther’s ability to transform notions of objecthood and perception through drawings, paintings, fabric sculptures, participatory forms, languagebased works, photographic documentation and archival material.

Having participated in Harald Szeemann’s legendary When Attitudes Become Form (1969) and dOCUMENTA V (1972) as well as the Museum of Modern Art’s landmark Spaces (1970), Walther’s remarkable coupling of elementary forms with conceptual ideas and a radical rethinking of the relationship between sculpture and action, so influential to the contemporary practices of young artists today, deserves renewed attention. With his novel use of fabric forms, which he developed while in art school in the early 1960s, the artist’s aesthetics of actionincites visitors to engage with both sculpture and the institution in challenging ways.

The show at WIELS, the first for the artist in Belgium and one of the larger of his solo exhibitions to date, will underscore the essential tension provoked by Walther’s work and the ways it thinks about what and artwork can do, or what can be done with it as opposed to how merely it appears or what it is. The show will trace this tension via a sweeping panorama of the artist’s production, including more than one hundred works, while also drawing attention to the artist’s relationship to documentation, both photographic and drawn, and his fundamental conception of the exhibition itself as a platform for social action. It will include numerous objects to be manipulated in the exhibition and will be animated by several workshops and work demonstrations led by the artist.

Curator: Elena Filipovic

Work demonstrations and public programs complementing the exhibition are realized in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Brüssel.

Opening: 20.02.2014, 18:30
With a work demonstration by the artist at 19:00