Wolfgang Laib: contemporary symbols and rites of spirituality in art.

Session by Jordi Esteban Fuentes, visual artist and yoga teacher, on February 22, 2017.

“An art exhibition should be the meeting point between the iconic and the aniconic, between spirit and matter, between the sacred and the profane, and ultimately between heaven and earth.”

Raimon Panikkar

Jordi Esteban Fuentes presented us the work of Wolfgang Laib framed in a reading of texts by Raimon Panikkar around art, and put in parallel images collected from books of the Panikkar Fund and works by Laib. An in-depth exposition and subsequent fruitful conversation among the thirty or so attendees emphasized that art must always present and integrate three aspects: body, matter; mind, meaning; and spirit, mystery.

Every authentically artistic work, in fact every being, reveals itself to us as: presence - meaning - absence.

Wolfgang Laigin (Metzinger, Germany, 1950) gave up being a doctor to devote himself to art. It was the 1970s and he was convinced that through art he could devote himself to healing in a more spiritual way.

Formal austerity and emotional depth are two of the constants of Wolfgang Laib’s work. The German artist, known for his ritualistic and introspective works made from natural materials such as milk, beeswax or new pollen, with which he builds evanescent mountains and carpets.

His contact with Buddhism made him choose to use these natural products that are symbolic for this and other religions. All the materials he uses are related in one way or another to the rituals used by the world’s religions.

Art and spirituality, action and contemplation.

This research generated a document that served as a script for the session, with a first presentation and subsequent lively discussion.

See here the video of the session.