Inaugural exhibition and website launch

Inaugural exhibition and website launch

Villa Franz Erhard Walther

Franz Erhard Walther, Eight Cushion Forms on a Rack, 1963. Courtesy of Franz Erhard Walther. Photo: Reiner Ruthenbeck, 1964.

October 8, 2022
Inaugural exhibition and website launch
Villa Franz Erhard Walther
Paulustor 4
36037 Fulda
Hours: Friday 2–8pm,
Saturday–Sunday 11am–6pm

The Franz Erhard Walther Foundation and the City of Fulda are delighted to announce the opening of Villa, an exhibition space dedicated to Franz Erhard Walther’s early work, and a website designed by Studio Manuel Raeder.

Ever since Franz Erhard Walther embarked on his artistic practice in Fulda in the late 1950s, his work has been marked by a radical openness, which at first incorporated material processes and later the spectator as an active participant in the realization of the work. Based on the Seng Collection, the Villa will be presenting alternating Work Presentations showcasing the works that Franz Erhard Walther produced in the late 1950s and early 1960s, augmented by loans from the Franz Erhard Walther Foundation and other lenders. The Villa ties in with the specific place and period in which the works were created, while at the same time contextualizing Franz Erhard Walther’s artistic production in its temporary relevance.

The activities of the Villa are based on the fundamental principles of Franz Erhard Walther’s work. It is a space in which the work is constantly realized anew—a space in flux, in which the early works are shown in ever new constellations.

The trajectory of Franz Erhard Walther’s articulation of his participatory concept, which underwent a radical change in 1963 with the production of the first pieces of the First Work Set, will be conveyed as a dynamic process that underscores the simultaneity of contrasting approaches and the anticipatory theoretical conception of works that only later came to be materialized.

Between the changing Work Presentations, annual exhibition projects will be staged that place Franz Erhard Walther’s early work in dialogues with other artists and establish references to their specific place of origin, Fulda and the Rhön region. In an exhibition planned for 2023, Franz Erhard Walther’s early works will be shown in dialogue with those of Lygia Clark. 2024 will see an exhibition with Jimmy Robert, in which the artist engages with Fulda’s booming jazz scene in the 1950s. 2025 is dedicated to the realization of the unrealized exhibition Yellow, which Franz Erhard Walther had conceived for the Galerie Junge Kunst in Fulda in 1965.

First Work Presentation
September 2022–September 2023 
Curators: Susanne Walther and Carolin Köchling

The First Work Presentation brings works into dialogue that Franz Erhard Walther produced in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In these years, the handling of the work became the central element of its realisation.

The exhibition shows the simultaneity of different paths and intellectual approaches formulated early on that only later take on material form. It focuses on the radical questions that had been forming since 1954 with regard to the definition of the conception of the work, which already represent a prelude to the later work: What manifests a picture? Who is involved in the creation of the work? How can time become a part of the work? And, above all: What is a work of art?

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Villa Franz Erhard Walther
October 8, 2022

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