About Franz West
Franz West was born in 1947 in Vienna (Austria), he was based in Vienna (Austria). He passed away in 2012.
The Austrian sculptor Franz West began his artistic career in the aftermath of the neo-avant-garde and performance tradition of the 1960s. In his hometown Vienna, the Vienna actionists performed brutal happenings in the mid- 1960s, as they tried to rid themselves of art’s media, and the material, technical and formal filter that they argued created a distance between art and life. They did so by using the body and objects from everyday life as their means of expression.
Franz West worked with sculpture, furniture, drawing, painting and collage. The forms in West’s sculptures, whether it is the early plaster-, wood- and metal sculp- tures he gave the generic term Paßstücke (in English: Adaptives or Fitting Pieces), or the more recent, painted, welded aluminium sculptures, seem like something in between the biological/ bodily and the quite random and strange. This ambiguity gives his work a tension that enriches their emotional register and potential for interpretation.
In the work Nullen/Zeros, a Paßstücke from 2006, West has made five zeros that are placed onto a traditional pedestal. They can be rearranged in any number of ways, however, their numerical worth remains constant. In his Paßstücke, West makes us explicitly aware of how an object’s meaning depends on how we inter- act with it. Because viewers can touch, move, and physically engage with West’s pieces, we are given a perceptible and almost existential nearness to his sculptures.
Franz West is represented by Peter Lund.
Artworks by Franz West
Pedestal: wood wall paint
Installed with artist video
approx. 57.5 x 27 x 6cm