Franz Erhard Walther

6 Demonstrationen des Neuen Werkbegriffs


Artist / Artist group
Franz Erhard Walther
6 Demonstrationen des Neuen Werkbegriffs
Copy Number
195 B1-6
Material / Technique
offset lithograph on paper
Dimensions / Duration
64,5 x 48,5 cm each
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

With his new understanding of what constitutes a work of art, namely "action as a work of art" [1], Franz Erhard Walther not only altered the definition of sculpture but also fundamentally changed the relationship between art and its audience. Crucial to his works is the active participation of the observer in the sculptural process.

The piece »6 Demonstrations of a New Work Concept« permits viewers to take up an active role by following the instructions on the artist’s prints. Fabric panels of different lengths are placed in the exhibition space, proffering various courses of action to visitors. For example, they can unfold the panels, lay them out in the space, and subsequently slip them into the pockets and recesses incorporated into the material.

Six variants form the piece, each containing drawings by the artist with instructions as well as photographs documenting the fabric panels in use. For example, in »Four-Way Connection (documenta Kassel 1972): For Two« during documenta 5 in Kassel, individuals used the panels to form a square in front of the Fridericianum. Visitors are essential to the existence of the artistic work, and ensure that it never remains the same, transforming into something new each and every time.

[1] Christoph Zuschlag, »Form – Handlung – Wahrnehmung: Zur Kunst von Franz Erhard Walther«, in Franz Erhard Walther – die Bilder sind im Kopf: Ernst-Franz-Vogelmann-Preis 2011, ed. Rita E. Täuber (Cologne: Wienand, 2011), 17–33, here 21. Translated here from the German.

Author: Judith Bihr

About the artist/s