Franz Erhard Walther

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Franz Erhard Walther

German, English

2020. 224 pp., 214 ills.


23.50 x 32.00 cm

ISBN 978-3-7757-4603-8

Alphabet of life – a retrospective in drawings

In 1958 at the Werkkunstschule in Offenbach, Franz Erhard Walther devised a typographical font without any diagonals. In this artist’s book he uses so-called work sets to form a letter on each page, facing a scene from his life between 1954 to 1973 on the opposite page—an encounter with Reiner Ruthenbeck and Jörg Immendorff, for example, or his first show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Paging through, four sequential “work sets” make an appearance, including “The body draws” and “Sculptural memory”: on the left side, a hand-drawn letter in a mutable yellow, and on the right, a drawing of a recollection originating in his photographic memory. This book, conceived and designed by the artist himself, is itself a work of art.

“All throughout my life I was fascinated by this idea: that a work could have a plot. With the consequence that the plot itself takes on the character of a work of art.”
Franz Erhard Walther, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin

Franz Erhard Walther (*1939) first studied at the Werkkunstschule (School of Applied Arts) in Offenbach am Main, and then later attended the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf Art Academy), where he and fellow students Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke studied under Karl Otto Götz. Walther lived in New York City between 1967 and 1971. In 1969 he and Dan Flavin exhibited the famous first work set at the Museum of Modern Art.

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