Wolfgang Laib Lays Out His Postmodern Pastoralist Art at MoMA

Jan 24, 2013 7:21PM

Wolfgang Laib is the holy fool of contemporary art. A monk-like figure who weaves his art out of natural substances that evoke spiritual regeneration — a permanent installation of his chamber made of beeswax opens at the Phillips Collection in March — he has opted to live in the slow lane in a small town in the south of Germany. His works echo the mix of pathos and abstraction of post-minimalism, but he denies this connection, preferring to talk about Eastern philosophy. He came to prominence in the ‘70s and ‘80s, mouthing phrases about the healing virtues of art and universal spiritual aspirations that would make any postmodern cynic cringe: His art, he has said, seeks to use materials that are “so universal, any human being can relate to it without language or explanation.”

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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019