12 Contemporary artists
Wolfgang Laib’s Installation at the MoMa: Pollen from Hazelnut
From January 23 to Monday 11, the sculptor and conceptualist Wolfgang Laib exhibited his largest pollen work on the second floor of the central room of the Museum of Modern Art. His ephemeral installation was a fuzzy-edged rectangle of bright yellow powder placed on a grey low concrete platform, measuring approximately 18 by 21 feet. It was made of hazelnut pollen that the artist has meticulously collected around his home in southern Germany since the 1990s. Wolfgang Laib resembles to a Buddhist monk for whom gathering pollen is a form of meditation. Laib has spread out the powdery substance into a perfect minimalistic square. The canary-colored square was so luminous that we might think that it represented a yellow light projector from above or the reflection of the sunlight for the more inspired visitors. The pigmented texture of the geometric form was grainy and sandy. There was something almost neon in it. It was rich and bright, though it also seemed denser, even though it was spread thinly. First, when I discovered Wolfgang Laib’s installation in the Atrium space I was impressed by the dazzling color of his work. The edges of his piece were so soft and undelimited that viewers could have the illusion that the pollen was floating in the air or levitating below the grey platform. It immediately reminds me the works of the abstract expressionist artist, Rothko. These two colored and square shapes, superimposed one upon the other, created intense depth to the piece. We could observe three different levels, the space of the room, the concrete platform and the yellow pollen square; the famous three-dimension effect that characterizes minimalism art. I believe that his work was displayed on the ground in order to not destruct the pure aspect of the pollen and keep its natural appearance. I did not feel anything immediately because it looked like just a yellow...
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