Franz Erhard Walther
1939 · Germany
Franz Erhard Walther has attracted critical attention since the 1960s for his reputation of pushing his audience and fellow artists into discussions around contemporary art practices. He has spent his lifetime expanding the consciousness around action-oriented art through sculpture and performance utilising simple, evocative objects that invite the public to roll up their sleeves and participate. Encouraging audiences to break down the imaginary boundary between art and the physical self, Walther paved the way for many younger performance artists of today.
Expounding the ideology that the artist and the public are on equal footing, Walther’s work gains meaning through its collaborative process. Through collaboration the public gains greater consciousness of their positions in space and relations with one another within it. His work is the realisation of over five decades of methodological approaches and displays the challenges and triumphs of participatory art. He has also explored typography and drawing.
Born in 1939 in Fulda, Germany, his country has embraced his approach since the 1960s having published countless books since his first monograph in 1972. He has exhibited globally, his first American group exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in 1970. His most recent exhibitions have been held in MUDAM, Luxembourg; WIELS Centre d'Art Contemporain, Brussels; CAPC Musée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, France; and Dia Art Foundation, New York.