Opening: 23 October 2011, Sunday, 11:30 a.m., Museum Haus Lange
The Dust of Stars is the poetic title of the latest work by the internationally acclaimed artist Franz Erhard Walther (*1939 in Fulda): a monumental cycle of 524 sheets each with pencil drawings and hand-written texts. The work is an autobiographically-based chronological tableau that begins in 1942 during the Second World War and ends in 1973 when the artist finally established himself with his reduced works focused on materials and processes. Franz Erhard Walther worked for two whole years, from 2007 to 2009, on this great historical narrative, in which he interweaves political, social and above all cultural events with his artistic progress and his private life.
Museum Haus Lange will present the entire cycle; hung in chronological order, it spans the two storeys of the building and creates a temporal and spatial sphere of memories and reflections. Walther looks at the art and history of late Modernism, with all its ruptures and upheavals, from a personal point of view that also finds place for everyday events.
Already in the early 1960s Walther developed a reduced, experimental work concept in which materiality, process, series, storage, language and action became his central instruments. Walther developed for instance paper objects that take on a simple shape through the action of liquids, gluing, air pockets or folding, and also assembled 56 sewn fabric objects for his 1st Work Set. Using fabric elements such as these, he has conducted actions right up to the present in both public and private spaces, with and without other participants. In this way he adopted a position early on with respect to Conceptual Art, Minimal Art and Happenings that was marked by its relevance and independence.
The Kunstmuseen Krefeld were quick to present Franz Erhard Walther's work: in 1969 Walther took part in the legendary exhibition When Attitudes Become Form which was curated by Harald Szeemann and shown at Museum Haus Lange as its second venue; that same year he initiated an action there with objects and, three years later a further action in the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum. This was followed in the 1970s and 1980s by numerous presentations in the Kunstmuseen Krefeld which revealed his creative output in all its breadth. The artist is represented in the collection at the Kunstmuseen Krefeld by major sculptural works and drawings. With the exhibition Dust of Stars. A Drawn Novel, Kunstmuseen Krefeld further accompany the artist in his developments and simultaneously return through the narrative to the artist's beginnings in Krefeld.
The exhibition is accompanied by a book in English and German with excerpts from the cycle Dust of Stars and a text by Sylvia Martin.
The cycle of drawings Dust of Stars will subsequently be exhibited at the DRAWING ROOM in London.
To mark the exhibition Dust of StarsEin gezeichnet Roman. A Drawn Novel, a public work action will be performed at Museum Haus Lange at 11:30 a.m. on 5 February 2012 in collaboration with Franz Erhard Walther, using select objects from the artist's own studio.