Franz Erhard Walther

Kunstverein in Hamburg

Breaking down the barrier between art and its viewer was one of the main artistic tendencies of the ’60s. This preoccupation distilled in the oft-quoted formula, “art is life,” resulted in happenings, performances, and artistic actions that deliberately required audience participation. Within this overall trend, Franz Erhard Walther prefers a concept of “work” that implies process and challenges the viewer to act, to the concept of art. Walther’s statement, “I am sculpture,” presumes the existence of a viewer who, either conceptually or by active physical involvement, takes part in the artist’s work. Hence, for Walther, sculpture is the active individual, who regards the artist’s work as his own instrument.

In this retrospective works from the years 1957 to 1987 show the gradual development that led to Walther’s “other concept of work.” Marked at the outset by a focus on the representational

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