wolfgang laib

One thing I miss about being in school is that I used to learn about new artists almost daily. When a teacher looked at my artwork and said “oh, you should look at so and so’s work…” I’d go straight to the Art Library after class and I could spend hours looking at books. It was kind of like following links; one artist would mention another, that next book would have an interesting image from someone else, and so on.

Wolfgang Laib was one of those artists I ‘discovered’ while I was in school, and his work still fascinates me. I love the idea of taking everyday objects and multiplying them, arranging them, making them extraordinary.

Wolfgang Laib uses materials like pollen, beeswax, rice, and milk in his artwork. From the Guggenheim Museum’s website, I found this:

“Ritual plays a central role in all of Laib’s highly reductive art. He lives in a remote region of Germany’s Black Forest, communing with the natural world outside his house as a painter would work in his or her studio. During the spring and summer months he collects pollen, including dandelion, hazelnut, pine, buttercup, and moss varieties, from the fields surrounding his home.”

I bet his studio is amazing. I imagine it being something like the artist’s studio I documented while I was at Penland School of Crafts (see that post here.) Rows and rows of jars and perfectly organized pieces of nature.

[above photo credit]

[above photo credit]

You can see more images here.


  1. says

    Whoa—these are so trippy. They remind me of a very postmodern take on the Buddhist mandala tradition, only instead of a dozen Tibetan monks building one mandala, it’s just this single small figure creating his art. VERY cool

  2. sean o'donoghue says

    a friend of mine introduced me to wolfgang laib’s art a few years ago and i can still say he is the BEST artist i have ever seen

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