Phillips Collection Wax Lyrical Thanks to Wolfgang Laib

Phillips Collection Wax Lyrical Thanks to Wolfgang Laib

Wolfgang Laib Installing Wax Room, Phillips Collection, Art, Museum, Gallery, Washington DC

Wolfgang Laib Installing Wax Room

It has been revealed that sometime early next year, the private museum, Phillips Collection in DC will play host to a wax room by Wolfgang Laib.

The permanent installation is a first for any art museum, created by applying beeswax directly to the walls as opposed to removable panels being used, as is usually the case with Laib’s wax rooms.

Small and enclosing, Laib’s rooms are lit by a single light bulb, yet invite a sense of womblike safety, minimalist, ritualistic and natural.

Often with many small, private galleries, the Phillips Collection’s space is very precious, and money-making is vital, so the museum’s director, Dorothy Kosinski was sceptical of Laib’s installation at first. “It is painful, the paucity of real estate for our collection. The last thing I want to do is pin down our small space with something permanent and site-specific.”

But after wondering the building with the artist, Kosinski was convinced that like the 1960 Rothko room and the especially commissioned 2006 Ellsworth Kelly sculpture in the courtyard, a wax room should become a permanent fixture.

Kosinski said of Laib, “Part of the beauty of his art is the performative aspect, it is not a big, loud, quick action, it’s a thoughtful, meditative process.”

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