Without Place—Without Time—Without Body

September 26, 2009—January 17, 2010
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Bloch Building, Gallery L8

Admission is free.

Wolfgang Laib is known for his Pollen Fields, Milkstones, Rice Houses, Ziggurats and more, and many world-wide exhibitions including a retrospective at the Hirshhorn Museum in 2001 acknowledge his importance. Without Place—Without Time—Without Body is a sculpture, of hundreds of mounds of rice laid out in a grid, including five mounds of luminous yellow pollen at the heart of the work.

Laib is interested in the spiritual traditions of India and his observation of ritual offerings there, have influenced his work. The artist’s organic materials, pollen and rice, are regenerative substances. His universal, mountain-like forms convey ascension.

Without Place—Without Time—Without Body, evokes a mythical mountain landscape of infinite proportions. Laib’s title suggests a spiritual realm unfettered by limitations of place, time and body. The sculpture is a metaphor for transcendence. It also speaks broadly to the presence of the spiritual in contemporary art.

While Laib’s simple and reductive forms might be associated with Minimalism, his work is resoundingly different. His use of repetition of form implies infinity and is related to the eternal recurrence of the same, an idea central to Buddhism. Tranquil, ephemeral, and aesthetically pure, Laib says his work, is about “a passage to another world.”

Image: Wolfgang Laib, Installation view of Without Place – Without Time – Without Body [detail]. Exhibited at Sean Kelly Gallery, September 7 – October 13, 2007. Photography: Wit McKay, New York. Courtesy: Sean Kelly Gallery, New York.

Courtesy of the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery. This exhibition is supported by the Campbell-Calvin Fund and Elizabeth C. Bonner Charitable Trust for exhibitions. Midwest Airlines is the official airline sponsor.


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