Franz Erhard Walther


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A pop-up book for adults, this catalogue on the work of Franz Erhard Walther sought its inspiration in the artist’s work in order to determine the publication-form that might most appropriately convey the centrality of action to the artist’s oeuvre. The performativity at the heart of Walther’s more than a half century long practice is underscored through the appearance of six brightly coloured elementary pop up forms spread throughout the book.

Franz Erhard Walther is 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 that brought together this catalogue publication  focused on Walther’s ability to transform notions of objecthood and perception through drawings, paintings, fabric sculptures, participatory forms, language-based works, photographic documentation and archival material, much of which is documented within the pages of this book.

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 action incites visitors to engage with both sculpture and the institution in challenging ways.

Texts by Elena Filipovic
Interview by Eric Verhagen and Franz Erhard Walther.

This publication was published by WIELS, CAPC and Walther Koenig.

Franz Erhard Walther - The Body Decides
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