Wolfgang Laib was born in Metzingen in 1950. He lives and works in a small village in southern Germany, in South India and New York.
Wolfgang Laib's work is strongly connected to his experiences in India and Southeast Asia, which first began when travelling with his family as a young teenager. Both Laib's materials and working process demonstrate unique simplicity, purity and calm concentration.
His work is characterised less by innovation or formal development than by strict continuity: regular series of repeated processes, collecting and using the same basic elements – natural substances such as milk, pollen, rice, beeswax and marble – are designed to enhance awareness of the transience of phenomena, and to encourage the mental quest for serenity and closeness to the transcendental.
The artist gives voice to the spiritual concept of infinity through a serial repetition typical of Indian rituals to which he is profoundly linked, transforming the notion of time into an eternal return. Formal representation shows through an essential symbolism that breaks down the boundaries of space and time in which the work is placed. Post-minimalist structures are blended with archetypal forms, combining Western and extra-Western culture, harmonizing a typically Western pragmatic rationality with more transcendental reflections. What amazes and fascinates most is Laib’s ability to approach an almost spiritual dimension without rhetoric, without dulling the rigor of research.