Franz West, who is now widely considered to be one of Europe's most important contemporary sculptors, has been showing steadily since the mid 1970s. This exhibition brings together a large group of sculptures, collages and works on paper dating from 1972-1988 which have never before been exhibited in the United States. The group illustrates the richness of West's early production and offers significant insight into the fundamental theories, ideas and practices that still shape West's work today.
In the 1970s, West began to make sculpture which he called Passstücke. The works are essentially papier-mâché, plaster and fiberglass sculptures painted white that often use material from everyday life, such as bottles, broom and paint brush handles and other miscellaneous objects as points of departure. The term Passstücke can loosely be translated as "adaptive". They are meant to relate to the user's body, as they adapt to the body or the body adapts to them. The Passstücke carried or worn by the receiver effect a temporary expansion of the limits of the body; this expansion constantly changes during the interactive process and influences one’s perception of reality and one’s state of mind. The sculptures are intended to be handled and are not meant to be merely contemplated.