Colloquium: Franz Erhard Walther’s First Work Set: Actions, Instructions, and Presence, 1963–1969

Saturday, September 17, 2011, 11am–5pm    add to my calendar

<p>Franz Erhard Walther, <i>Kopf Leib Glieder</i>, 1967. "Franz Erhard Walther: Work<br>  
as Action," Beacon, NY. Courtesy Dia Art Foundation, NY. Photo: Paula Court.

Franz Erhard Walther, Kopf Leib Glieder, 1967. "Franz Erhard Walther: Work
as Action," Beacon, NY. Courtesy Dia Art Foundation, NY. Photo: Paula Court.


Stimulated by a desire to provoke new English-language scholarship on and inquiry into Franz Erhard Walther’s oeuvre, this colloquium takes the exhibition "Work As Action" as an opportunity to invite writers, curators, scholars, fellow artists, and the public to respond directly to the landmark 58-element work First Work Set—exhibited for the first time in its totality in the United States since 1969.


Artist's Biography

Franz Erhard Walther was born in 1939 in Fulda, Germany. In 1957, he enrolled in the Werkkunstschule Offenbach, where he first exhibited his work. In 1959 he transferred to the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt am Main (Städelschule), studying there until his expulsion in 1961. From 1962 to 1964, Walther attended the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he became acquainted with Joseph Beuys and befriended fellow students Gerhard Richter, Imi Knoebel, and Blinky Palermo. Walther remained in Düsseldorf until 1967, when he moved to New York, residing there until 1973. Since then, Walther has exhibited extensively worldwide. He demonstrated 1. Werksatz in a four-month presentation at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 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 (1972), 6 (1977), 7 (1982), and 8 (1987), and has had solo shows at Secession, Vienna (1989); Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1993); and FRAC Bretagne, Rennes, France (1999). Walther’s work is on permanent view at the Hamburger Kunsthalle; Kunstmuseum Bonn; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; and Mamco, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, where a major retrospective of his work was mounted in 2010. He was a full professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg from 1971 until 2009, where he taught Martin Kippenberger, John Bock, Jonathan Meese, among others. Dia’s exhibition marks Walther’s first solo museum show in the United States since 1990.

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