The ninth Collector’s Edition Box, by Franz Erhard Walther, 2022.
Born in 1939, Franz Erhard Walther is viewed as one of the precursors and pioneers of what would come to be called “relational aesthetics” and “participatory art.” He paved the way for fellow artists in these fields as early as the second half of the 1950s, especially with works on paper that invited viewers to project mental images onto the artworks, through linguistic or graphic signs made available to them. At the onset of the 1960s, the artist started to create three-dimensional objects that encouraged even more physical interactions. The discovery of sewing and textile resources as means of artistic expression allowed Walther, from 1962–1963 onwards, to keep experimenting further—a process that culminated in his 1st Werksatz, made of 58 pieces produced up until 1969. This masterwork would provide a starting point for many more explorations and interrogations through which the notions of body, time, space, language, and drawing would be addressed and used to ceaselessly reinvented ends, producing multiple different series of artworks, all the way to the present day.
In the course of the last fifteen years, Franz Erhard Walther’s work has been exhibited in monographic exhibitions across the world, including—among other institutions: the MAMCO in Geneva, the DIA: Beacon in New York state, the Kunsthalle of Hamburg, the Wiels in Brussels, the CAPC in Bordeaux, the MUDAM in Luxemburg City, the Power Plant of Toronto, the Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Museo Jumex in Mexico City, and the Haus der Kunst in Munich. In 2017, he was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale.