Franz Erhard Walther is a pivotal figure in postwar German art history, embodying both correspondences and departures from the American tradition and the milestone of 1960s Minimalism. His sculptural work, like that of Donald Judd and Robert Morris, often sought to engage viewer perception as well as the forms of exhibition and storage that framed it – concerns that have proven to be of increasing significance for contemporary art in recent years. Drawing, though, has always been a primary way in which the artist has articulated his unique perspective on the art work, viewership, and their performative dimensions. As was evident in the photographic series “Versuch, eine Skulptur zu sein” (1958), which was included in the artist’s solo exhibition at ZKM, Karlsruhe, this year, his own body and the way in which it is conceived of by viewers has also been a significant site for this investigation. “Materialhandlung”, Franz Erhard Walther’s second edition for “Texte zur Kunst”, represents the merger of several threads leading through the artist’s work: a ditone print of a graphite drawing made by the artist in 2012 related to his handwritten and drawn autobiography “Sternenstaub” (2007–2009), though seemingly abstract, in fact loosely depicts an image of the artist painting in front of an easel in 1959. As a reactivation of the original drawn incident, Walther has individually gone through and written – in his distinctive, almost drawn, handwriting – a few words on each print with graphite. This act also serves to imbue each work with the aura of the artist – an essential element in the trajectory leading from the artist, through the work, and to the viewer.
Ditone print and graphite, 42 × 30 cm, Edition: 80 + 20 A.P., signed and numbered on the back, 290.– Euros plus shipping.