FRANZ ERHAD WALTHER
Call to Action
On View at The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada.
I have been following the work of German artist Franz Erhard Walther for several years now…the conceptual framework of his work has been an important position in looking at the current movement of artists working in textile. I started following his work more closely after a fantastic one person show at DIA: Beacon in 2010. It was a pleasure meeting him in person at the 2015 Art Basel Untitled edition, where he performed with his “Wallformation, Gelbmodellierung, 1980-81.”
My recent trip to Toronto included Walther’s “Call to Action” exhibition at The Power Plant, which features parts of the “Werksatz” also exhibited at DIA. This group of textile objects were conceived to be activated by the audience, resulting in new relationships of space, object and the human body. The works spans the mediums of sculpture, drawing and video but almost always requires some participation from the viewer in order to mold material form.
“Call to Action” presents several facets of Walther’s interest in how live in the everyday, what decisions we make with our minds and bodies; in the exhibition we also see several letters of the alphabet that are created as soft sculpture. His interest in breaking down the relationships between the work and the viewer was first conceptualized in 1963 with this piece “Werksatz.”
“Werksatz 1963-1969,” invites visitors to follow the instructions given for each piece and activate various elements of the sculpture in order to physically experience the work through their participation.
In Paris, Walther is represented by Galerie Jocelyn Wolff and has become one of Germany’s seminal artists, producing work that expands the discussion of contemporary art practices.