Painting with Pollen

April 24, 2012

"Pollen from Hazelnut" by Wolfgang Laib (1995-96)

You wouldn’t think that a patch of yellow would be so mesmerizing.

Wolfgang Laib’s “Pollen from Hazelnut” is currently installed at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington.  This unusual piece of art is a square “field” of pollen collected from the area around Laib’s home in Germany.  It is part of the collection of the Henry Art Gallery, and the pollen is stored in a glass jar when it is not on exhibit on the floor for patrons to view from a doorway.

It reminded me of Rothko’s abstract “Red” paintings, only done in brilliant yellow.  Your thinking mind has to constantly remind itself that it is looking at pollen, not paint.  You just aren’t accustomed to seeing pollen applied as an art medium.

If you are intrigued, you can read more about this installation in a recent Seattle Times review at this link.

Soft edges

Pollen viewed from across the hall

"Pollen from Hazelnut" at the Henry Art Gallery

(Special thanks to my friend, Carol, for telling me about this exhibit and urging me to see it.)