Franz Erhard Walther grew up in Fulda and co-founded the Kunstverein Junger Kunstkreis Fulda in 1958. From 1957 on he studied at the Werkkunstschule Offenbach, from 1959 at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main and from 1962 to 1964 at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the class of K. O. Götz. From 1963 Walther worked on his "1. Werksatz", which was shown for the first time at the Aachen Gallery in 1966. In 1967 he moved to New York, where he was part of the group exhibition "Spaces" at the Museum of Modern Art in 1969. Walther also participated at documenta 5 (1972), 6 (1977), 7 (1982) and 8 (1987), was represented at the 14th São Paulo Biennale and was part of the following group exhibitions: "Live in Your Head. When Attitudes Become Form" (Kunsthalle Bern, 1969), "Westkunst. Zeitgenössische Kunst seit 1939" (Rheinhallen, Cologne, 1981), "Object, Site, Sensation. New German Sculpture" (Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1989) and "Out of Actions. Between Performance and the Object, 1949−1979" (Geffen Contemporary, Los Angeles/MAK Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna/Museu d'Art Contemporani, Barcelona/Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 1998). Individual exhibitions were done at the following institutions, among others: Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (1969), Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt (1970, 1999), Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1972, 1984, 1993), Städtisches Kunstmuseum Bonn (1975, 1980, 1998), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (1977), Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich (1979), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (1981), Secession Wien (1989), Hamburger Kunsthalle (1991), Museum of Art Lucerne (1992, 2010), Sprengel Museum Hanover (1994), Deichtorhallen Hamburg (1998), Centro de Arte Moderna, Lisbon (2003), Dia Art Foundation, New York (2010), ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe (2012), WIELS Centre d'Art Contemporain, Brussels (2014) and Musée d'art contemporain, Bordeaux (2014). Walther became a professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg in 1971 and taught there until his retirement in 2005. His students included John Bock, Lili Fischer, Rebecca Horn, Martin Kippenberger, Jonathan Meese and Santiago Sierra. Walther received the Günter Fruhtrunk Award from the Akademieverein München (1985), the Piepenbrock Award for Sculpture (1994), the Ernst Franz Vogelmann Award for Sculpture (2011) and the Kunstpreis Aachen (2016). In 2017 he was awarded the Golden Lion as best artist at the 57th Venice Biennale.