A Permanent Laib Wax Room for the Phillips

In early 2013, German artist Wolfgang Laib (whose Milkstone nourished us briefly back in March 2011) will create a wax room in a little upstairs space of the original Phillips house. Up the stairs from the parlors, through intimate galleries (where works by Lee Gatch, Leo Villareal, and Paul Klee currently hang), up a few more stairs to a landing, you will discover the entrance to a small chamber just before the Main Gallery. Step inside, and you will be enveloped by the comforting scent of beeswax in a room just for you (and maybe one companion), illuminated by the glow of a single bare light bulb. The Laib Wax Room will be the artist’s first site-specific wax room for a museum and the Phillips’s first permanent installation since the Rothko Room (1960). Read more about our news on this major commission in today’s New York Times and Washington Post.

Photo of Wolfgang Laib using a warm iron to smooth the walls of the wax chamber on his own property in southern Germany. Courtesy of the artist

Wolfgang Laib using a warm iron to smooth the walls of the wax chamber on his own property in southern Germany. Courtesy of the artist

Wolfgang Laib finishes the walls of his wax rooms with a flame, which gives a unique shine to the beeswax surface. Here the artist works on a permanent wax chamber realized in a historic building in Switzerland.

Wolfgang Laib finishes the walls of his wax rooms with a flame, which gives a unique shine to the beeswax surface. Here the artist works on a permanent wax chamber realized in a historic building in Switzerland. Courtesy of the artist