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Wolfgang Laib/ Matrix 188 Pollen from Pine
German artist creates an installation from pine pollen
at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum
October 14 through December 17, 2000
The MATRIX Program is proud to present internationally acclaimed artist Wolfgang Laib in his first one-person museum exhibition on the West Coast in almost a decade. Laib will create an installation entirely from pine pollen that he painstakingly collects, by hand over many months, in the countryside near his home in rural Germany. The artist describes this repetitive and meditative process as a way of participating with natural materials rather than as a means of creating art.
Laib uses elements of nature — beeswax, milk, rice, pollen, and stone — to create artworks whose power is derived from an extreme modesty. His objects and installations possess an inherent vitality and sensuousness and an austere beauty. Laib stores the pollen he collects in glass jars, and exhibits it in a variety of ways: in jars, shaped into cones, or sifted through muslin directly onto a bare stone or concrete floor. After each installation, the pollen is collected, cleaned, and is then ready for re-use in future installations. This cyclical nature of Laib's work challenges values and ideologies prevalent in modern society, most notably an obsession with material possessions.
Born in 1950, Laib began working as an artist in 1972. Several iconic, almost mythic, identities define Laib: his training to be a doctor, his hermetic living and working practices, and his serious study of Eastern and premodern religions including Buddhism, Jainism, and medieval Christianity. Like all of his works, Laib's pollen pieces border on the sublime, combining spirituality with a minimal aesthetic that is startling in its beauty and simplicity.
On Saturday, October 14, at 12 noon, in the museum lobby, Wolfgang Laib will be present at the museum to answer questions, posed by the curator as well as by the audience, about his installation and his creative process.
Upcoming MATRIX exhibitions
Tacita Dean/MATRIX 189 Banewl
November 29, 2000 — January 28, 2001
Ernesto Neto/MATRIX 190
February 18 — April 15, 2001