Franz Erhard Walther
49 Nesselplatten, 1963

  • Hardboard sheets, white primer, paste, untreated cotton cloth
  • Dimensions variable
  • Acquired in 2006
  • Object Sculpture

Walther’s works are intended to open up spaces to individual imagination and to processual treatment of materials familiar from everyday use. He tries out processual structures and temporary production and treatment forms like folding, separating, dividing, pasting, packing up, cutting or laying out, using materials that are not considered belonging to art production like primer, paste, wrapping paper or felt. Around 1962/63 he developed his series of works for unfolding and opening out through this. One of the main works from the early period is 49 Nesselplatten [49 panels], created by cutting up a hardboard sheet. The work can exist in two different states: piled up, as a storage device and work form at the same time, and in the various ways in which it can be laid out on the floor, defined individually by the viewer. The act of laying out the work is a component of it, which means that the temporal element, in other words time as sculptural material, becomes part of the work. In the context of minimalist tendencies in European art around 1960, Walther’s piled and opened up works represent a radical further development, alongside the serial white picture-objects by Piero Manzoni, Hanne Darboven’s earliest grid works or Peter Roehr’s object montages.

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