Franz West (2009)
16 February 1947|
|Died||26 July 2012
|Education||Academy of Fine Arts Vienna|
|Known for||Sculpture, Painting, Drawing|
|Notable work||The Ego and the Id|
|Awards||Otto Mauer-Preis (1986), Skulpturenpreis der Generali Foundation (1993), Wolfgang-Hahn-Preis, Museum Ludwig (1998)|
Franz West (16 February 1947 – 25 July 2012) was an Austrian artist.
Early life and education
West was born on 16 February 1947. His father was a coal dealer, his mother a dentist who took her son with her on art-viewing trips to Italy. West did not begin to study art seriously until he was 26, when, between 1977 and 1983, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with Bruno Gironcoli.
West began making drawings around 1970 before moving on to painted collages incorporating magazine images that showed the influence of Pop Art. His art practice started as a reaction to the Viennese Actionism movement has been exhibited in museums and galleries for more than three decades. Over the last 20 years he had a regular presence in big expositions like Documenta and the Venice Biennale.
West's artwork is typically made out of plaster, papier-mâché, wire, polyester, aluminium and other, ordinary materials. He started to produce paintings, but then turned to collages, sculptures, portable sculptures called "Adaptives" or "Fitting Pieces", environments and furniture – "welded metal chairs and divans, some minimally padded and upholstered in raw linen." For his early sculptures, West often covered ordinary objects—bottles, machine parts, pieces of furniture and other, unidentifiable things—with gauze and plaster, producing "lumpy, grungy, dirty-white objects".
In the late 1990s, West turned to large-scale lacquered aluminum pieces, the first (and several after) inspired by the forms of Viennese sausages, as well as the shapes of the Adaptives. With their monochrome colors and irregular patchwork surfaces, these works were also meant for sitting and lying.
|“||It doesn't matter what the art looks like but how it's used.
Franz West 
The Baltimore Museum of Art with help from former Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Darsie Alexander, hosted the very first "comprehensive survey" to ever been done in the U.S. of Franz West's artwork which contained his latest artwork designed specifically for the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Igo and the Id. – which "consists of two configurations of rumpled, ribbon-like loops rising some 20 feet high. One is bright pink, the other neatly painted in blocks of green, yellow, blue and orange. Both have round stools projecting from the lower ends of the loops."
Throughout his career, West engaged in collaborations with other artists, such as conceptual Artist Bernhard Cella, conceptual artist Douglas Gordon, musician Fred Jellinek, furniture maker Mathis Esterhazy, and the artist Tamuna Sirbiladze (West's widow). For another exhibition in 2012, West collaborated with fellow artist Anselm Reyle on a series of furniture sculptures.
Around 1980 West started to create "plaster objects, usually a few feet long, meant to be placed over the face, worn around the waist or held in the crook of the neck. Although they suggest masks and props for the commedia dell'arte, their shapes are usually ambiguous: no matter how figurative and sexual Mr. West's objects may be, they remain abstract. The pieces can be worn on the street or carried like a partner in an enraptured solipsistic dance. They leave the wearer looking both protected and trapped." His friend Reinhard Priessnitz called these "Passstücke", which was rendered into English as "Fitting pieces"; but West came to prefer another translation, "Adaptives".
- 1987 Wiener Secession, Vienna
- 1988 Kunsthalle Bern, Bern
- 1988 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
- 1988 P.S.1, New York
- 1990 Venice Biennale, Austrian Pavilion, Venice
- 1991 Villa Arson, Nice
- 1994 Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
- 1996 Museum moderner Kunst, Stiftung Ludwig Wien, 20er Haus, Vienna
- 1997 Fundaçao de Serralves, Porto
- 1997 Museum of Modern Art, New York
- 1998 Middelheim Open Air Sculpture Museum, Antwerpen
- 2000 Museum für Neue Kunst - ZKM Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe
- 2000 Renaissance Society, Chicago
- 2001 Museum für angewandte Kunst Wien, Vienna
- 2001 Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
- 2002 Musée d'Art Contemporain (MAC), Marseille
- 2002/03 Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA
- 2003 Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz
- 2003 Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
- 2007 Werkstadt Graz, Graz
- 2008 Museum für angewandte Kunst Wien, Vienna
- 2008 Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore
- 2009 Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
- 2009 Fondation Beyeler, Basel
- 2009/10 Museum Ludwig, Cologne
- 2010 Museo MADRE, Neapel
- 2010/11 Kunsthaus Graz, Graz
- 2013 MUMOK, Vienna
- 2013 Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Edinburgh
- 2013 MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main
- 2014 Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, USA
- 2014 The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield
- 2016 21er Haus, Vienna
- 2018/19 Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and Tate, London (forthcoming)
- 1986: Otto Mauer Prize
- 1988: City of Vienna Prize for Visual Arts
- 1993: Sculpture Award at the Generali Foundation
- 1998: Wolfgang-Hahn-Preis, Museum Ludwig, Cologne
- 1993: Skulpturenpreis der Generali Foundation
- 1986: Otto Mauer Prize, Vienna
- 2011: Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, Venice Biennale
- 2011: Austrian Decoration for Science and Art
West was married to the Georgian artist Tamuna Sirbiladze.
West was represented by Gagosian Gallery, Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna, and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich until his death in 2012. His estate continues to be represented by Gagosian Gallery. At Frieze Art Fair in 2011, West curated the Gagosian Gallery's booth. A portrait of West made by Rudolf Stingel sold for a price of more than $500,000.
|Lips, Philadelphia Museum of Art|
- Franz West, Benedikt Ledebur: Extroversion - a Talk, Schlebrügge.Editor, Vienna 2011. ISBN 978-3-902833-00-6
- Kaspar König (ed.): Franz West - Autotheater. DuMont, Cologne 2009. ISBN 978-3-8321-9280-8
- Kristine Bell (ed.): Franz West - Early work, October 30, 2004 - January 8, 2005. Zwirner & Wirth, New York 2004.
- Franz West: Franz West - Displacement and Condensation. Gagosian Gallery, London 2006. ISBN 1-932598-36-7
- Robert Fleck, Bice Curiger, Neal Benezra, Franz West. Phaidon Press, London, 1999. ISBN 0-7148-3825-X
- Roberta Smith (July 26, 2012), Franz West Is Dead at 65; Creator of an Art Universe New York Times.
- Christopher Knight (March 31, 2009), Review: Franz West at LACMA Los Angeles Times.
- Johnson, Ken, "Sculpture That Asks You to Set a Spell", New York Times.com / Art & Design / Art Review, 19 December 2008
- Ken Johnson (November 26, 2004), Franz West -- 'Early Work' New York Times.
- Smith, Roberta, "Designers for a Day: Sculptors Take a Turn", New York Times.com / Art & Design / Art Review, 10 September 2004
- "Safety Curtain 2009/2010", museum in progress, Vienna.
- /blog/cat/salon/post/west/], Wests Collaboration with Cella
- Michael Brenson (June 21, 1991), 2 Austrians Who Find Anxiety in the Familiar New York Times.
- Anselm Reyle/Franz West: Stolen Fantasy, March 23 - April 22, 2012 Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin.
- Brenson, Michael, "Franz West, With Whom Neatness Doesn't Count", New York Times.com / Art & Design / Art Review, 16 June 1989
- Hirsch, Faye (2013-06-05). "Opus Posthuous". Art in America. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 2020. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- Scott Reyburn (October 13, 2011), Elle Macpherson Browses Frieze, $1.4 Million Rauch Leads Sales Bloomberg.
- "Lips". The Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden. Philadelphia Museum of Art. 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- Extroversion, Schlebrügge.Editor, Vienna 2011.
17.^ Elaine A. King,"Euphoric Sculpture: A Conversation with Franz West," Sculpture Magazine, June 2009, Vol.28, No. 5 http://www.sculpture.org/documents/scmag09/june_09/west/west.shtml
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