Wolfgang Laib, ‘Rice House’, 2007, Buchmann Galerie Lugano

About Wolfgang Laib

Wolfgang Laib is an installation artist whose practice is inextricable from his mythically modest and hermetic lifestyle. A former doctor, Laib is a student of Eastern and pre-Modern religions, like Buddhism, Jainism, and Medieval Christianity. This deeply influenced his perspective on nature, in particular his belief that one can only communicate with nature in solitude. Most of Laib’s works are composed of one or two materials, which he has gathered in raw form, such as milk, marble, rice, beeswax, and pollen. In fact, Laib spends the spring and summer months of each year gathering pollen from the meadows around his rural residence in southern Germany; he recently installed a large-scale pollen work at the MoMA in New York, titled Pollen from Hazelnut. “Pollen is the potential beginning of the life of the plant,” he says of his favored medium. “It is as simple, as beautiful, and as complex as this.”

German, b. 1950, Metzingen, Germany