From Eliza French. Follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref; email her at eliza[AT]borderstan.com.
In July 2012 the Phillips Collection announced its first new permanent installation in over 50 years. The installation will be a site-specific commission by German Artist Wolfgang Laib. Laib will create a small, wax room in the part of The Phillips Collection that was the originally Duncan Phillips’ house.
From now until February 28, The Phillips Collection is seeking to raise $15,000 for the project via its Indiegogo campaign. Artists and Philips Collections donors, Brian and Paula Ballo Dailey, have agreed to match these donations up to $15,000.
For added incentive, the Phillips is offering special benefits to those who donate at the $25, $100, $250, $500 and $1,000 (and-above) levels.
Laib has worked with organic materials for his entire career and has used beeswax as a medium since 1988. The completed room will contain about 800 pounds of melted beeswax, and will be lit by a single, bare light bulb. The room will be filled with a golden and glow and with the subtle scent of beeswax.
Laib has created several similar rooms throughout Europe and in New York, in both natural and manmade settings. The artist uses other bee byproducts, most notably pollen, in his art, such as “Pollen from Hazelnut,” which was at the Hirshhorn in 2004. The most recent iteration is currently installed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
According to The Phillips Collection’s campaign page, “The wax room demonstrates art’s life-enhancing power, a quality founder Duncan Phillips championed when he opened the museum in Washington, D.C., in 1921.” With the new wax chamber, the museum hopes to offer a contemplative experience similar to that of the well-known Rothko Room.
The Laib wax room will open on March 2, 2013. Visit the campaign page to read more about the Laib wax room.