Franz Erhard Walther
Artist

Franz Erhard Walther is internationally recognized for his five-decade-long investigation into the spatial, sensorial, and temporal dimensions of forms. Since his first experiments during the early 1960s, Walther’s work has occupied a unique position in the development of post–World War II avant-garde practice, as he radically abandoned conventional modes of painting and sculpture in order to examine the process of art rather than its product. Walther’s distinctive approach led him to conceiving objects and images that challenged the beholder to act. In acknowledging the impact of viewers’ presence and actions in real time and space, Walther attempts to suspend the sense of isolation and self absorption that is often associated with viewing art.

Perhaps his most iconic work, 1. Werksatz (First Work Set) consists of fifty-eight fabric elements or “instruments for processes” intended to be unfolded and used by viewers according to instructions concisely outlined in their individual titles. It invites visitors to become both beholder and participant – subject and object – and to engage in actions as individuals and with others, forging a conceptual and formal circle of implications. Walther’s provocative acts of doing have been foundational to a later generation of artists including his students at the Hochschule für bildende Kunste in Hamburg – Martin Kippenberger, John Bock, Christian Jankowski, Santiago Sierra, Jonathan Meese, among others – who call on viewers to participate in the development of their work.

Walther demonstrated 1. Werksatz at the Museum of Modern Art in 1969 and 1970, and his work was included in the landmark 1969 exhibition “When Attitudes Become Form” at Kunsthalle Bern. He participated in Documentas 5, 6, 7, and 8, and has had solo shows at Secession in Vienna, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, and FRAC Bretagne in Rennes. Musée d’art moderne et contemporain in Geneva presented a major retrospective of his work in 2010.

Franz Erhard Walther
Artist

Franz Erhard Walther is internationally recognized for his five-decade-long investigation into the spatial, sensorial, and temporal dimensions of forms. Since his first experiments during the early 1960s, Walther’s work has occupied a unique position in the development of post–World War II avant-garde practice, as he radically abandoned conventional modes of painting and sculpture in order to examine the process of art rather than its product. Walther’s distinctive approach led him to conceiving objects and images that challenged the beholder to act. In acknowledging the impact of viewers’ presence and actions in real time and space, Walther attempts to suspend the sense of isolation and self absorption that is often associated with viewing art.

Perhaps his most iconic work, 1. Werksatz (First Work Set) consists of fifty-eight fabric elements or “instruments for processes” intended to be unfolded and used by viewers according to instructions concisely outlined in their individual titles. It invites visitors to become both beholder and participant – subject and object – and to engage in actions as individuals and with others, forging a conceptual and formal circle of implications. Walther’s provocative acts of doing have been foundational to a later generation of artists including his students at the Hochschule für bildende Kunste in Hamburg – Martin Kippenberger, John Bock, Christian Jankowski, Santiago Sierra, Jonathan Meese, among others – who call on viewers to participate in the development of their work.

Walther demonstrated 1. Werksatz at the Museum of Modern Art in 1969 and 1970, and his work was included in the landmark 1969 exhibition “When Attitudes Become Form” at Kunsthalle Bern. He participated in Documentas 5, 6, 7, and 8, and has had solo shows at Secession in Vienna, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, and FRAC Bretagne in Rennes. Musée d’art moderne et contemporain in Geneva presented a major retrospective of his work in 2010.

  • Mary Heilmann / Daydream Nation
    May 2 – Jul 26, 2024
    Hauser & Wirth
    New York, USA
    “A body of work starts by daydreaming…” –Mary Heilmann On May 2nd, we will open ‘Daydream Nation’ at its 22nd Street gallery, exploring Mary Heilmann’s ongoing interest in drawing as a form of transcribing memory. Curated by artist Gary Simmons, Heilmann’s friend and former student and colleague at New York’s School of Visual Arts, the exhibition celebrates her talent for distilling complex images and ideas into deceptively simple geometric forms and abstract gestural marks. (more…)