Artist page 
Franz West
Current Museum Retrospective
September 2018
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

September 12–December 10, 2018

The Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris presents a comprehensive retrospective of the work of Franz West, who died in 2012. Curated by Christine Macel, chief curator at the Pompidou, and Mark Godfrey, senior curator at Tate Modern, London, where it will travel in February 2019, the exhibition spans West’s influential career and draws on major loans from institutions including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, and MUMOK, Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, in the artist’s hometown of  Vienna.

The nearly two hundred works on view demonstrate the full breadth of West’s oeuvre, beginning with rarely seen drawings from the early 1970s and his first Passstücke (Adaptives)— the sculptures for which he became well known—to his papier-mâché works from the 1980s and Lemurenköpfe (Lemur Heads), made in the 1990s, as well his collages, furniture works, and collaborations with other artists. Several monumental open-air sculptures from the latter part of West’s career will be on view in the Pompidou’s lobby and in front of several other museums and institutions in the Marais district.

Showcasing the striking physical presence and formal qualities of his work, the retrospective also aims to explore the philosophical dimensions of the artist’s practice and its unique social sensibility. West grew up in Vienna in the aftermath of World War II—a period he described as "a very conflicted time"—and saw avant-garde performances by the Viennese Actionists during the 1960s. The aesthetic he developed in his own work engaged high and low cultural references in equal measure and encouraged direct interaction with art as a way to explore the positioning of the body and the status of art in daily life. With works that playfully manipulate everyday materials and imagery in novel ways, he created objects and installations that redefine art as a social experience, calling attention to the way it is presented and how viewers interact with works of art and, in turn, with each other.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue edited by Godfrey and Macel, which also features recollections from David Zwirner about meeting the artist and organizing his first solo show at the gallery in 1993.

Image: Installation view, Franz West, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 2018. Copyright ©  Philippe Migeat - Centre Pompidou

Franz West: Where Is My Eight?
2013
Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna

February 23–May 26, 2013

In 2013, the Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (MUMOK) in Vienna presented Franz West: Where Is My Eight? (Wo ist mein Achter?). This was the second major exhibition of the artist’s work at the museum in his native city of Vienna following Franz West: Proforma, a midcareer survey in 1996. Both exhibitions were curated by Eva Badura-Triska.

Where Is My Eight? included some 150 works based on a preliminary selection drawn up by the artist before his death in 2012. The show focused on the Kombi-Werke (Combi-Works), in which West would combine existing works to create new installations; also included were individual pieces drawn from throughout the artist’s career, for example his Passstücke (Adaptives), furniture, sculptures, videos, works on paper, and pieces created in cooperation with other artists. As Faye Hirsch wrote in an extended article for Art in America, "The playfulness and wit that characterized West’s art throughout his career were much in evidence. . . . Walking through the show, one is struck as much by the work’s connection to Brancusi and Giacometti as to the anti-art impulses of Duchamp and Fluxus."

Versions of the exhibition were subsequently presented at the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt (2013) and the Hepworth Wakefield in England (2014), where West’s work was placed in dialogue with sculptures by the late Barbara Hepworth. "Playfully nestled alongside the elegant, anthropomorphic curves of Barbara Hepworth’s plaster prototypes," Louisa Elderton wrote in a review for Flash Art, "West’s Das Geraune (Murmuring) (1988) was veritably buzzing with energized textural surfaces and peep holes for the viewer’s eyes only."

The exhibition was accompanied by a publication with texts by Eva Badura-Triska, Klaus Goerner, Georg Grooelle, Peter Keicher, and Andreas Reiter-Raabe.

Franz West, To Build a House You Start with the Roof: Work, 1972–2008
2008
The Baltimore Museum of Art; traveled to Los Angeles County Museum of Art

March 12, 2009–June 7, 2009

Organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art, Franz West, To Build a House You Start with the Roof: Work, 1972–2008 surveyed nearly forty years of work by the artist. The exhibition showcased Franz West’s dynamic range of work, from his interactive Passstücke (Adaptives) of the 1970s to large-scale outdoor sculptures begun in the mid-1990s made from aluminum and painted in bright colors. In the catalogue accompanying the show, the curator Darsie Alexander recalls how "an exhibition [of West’s work] at David Zwirner, New York, in the mid-1990s kindled a spark that has ignited into this exhibition."

On the occasion of the exhibition, West produced a new outdoor sculpture, The Ego and the Id (2008). As Peter Schjeldahl wrote in The New Yorker, "West’s recent abstract, painted-aluminum sculptures . . . may be the most energetic and affable art for public spaces since Alexander Calder. . . . A new, colossal piece, created for Baltimore, is West’s strongest yet. The Ego and the Id, in two parts, deploys twisting, soaring loops in various toothsome colors, and sprouts stools for sitting."

WESFR0754

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10 5/8 x 11 13/16 x 2 3/16 inches (27 x 30 x 5.5 cm)

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Newspaper, cardboard and plywood
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Namensbild Attila

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ca. 1975 - 1985

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11.61 x 13.78 x 8.66 inches (29.5 x 35 x 22 cm)

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Metal, plaster and paint
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Paßstück

Year 
ca. 1980

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10 3/4 x 8 inches (27.3 x 20.3 cm)

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Paint on magazine ad
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Untitled (Spill)

Year 
1977

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13 x 10 inches (33 x 25.4 cm)

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Paint and oilstick on magazine ad, mounted on white mat
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Die Welt zerfaellt in Tatsachen (The World Disintegrates into Facts)

Year 
ca. 1970

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12 3/16 x 18 11/16 x 2 3/16 inches (31 x 47.5 x 5.5 cm)

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Papier-mâché, cardboard and paint
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Namensbild Fredl

Year 
ca. 1975 - 1985

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19 1/4 x 31 1/2 x 15 3/4 inches (49 x 80 x 40 cm)

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Wood, plaster, and dispersion
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Paßstück (Adaptive)

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1975

Opening on Saturday, October 26, the gallery will present an exhibition by the Austrian artist Franz West. This will be the artist's third exhibition at David Zwirner.

 

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. Recently his works have reached a large international audience at "Documenta IX" in Kassel and at the 1995 Carnegie International in Pittsburgh. A comprehensive mid-career survey exhibition traveled from the Museum moderner Kunst, Vienna, to the Kunsthalle Basel; and is currently at the Rijksmuseum Kröller Müller in the Netherlands. In 1997, the artist will exhibit new works at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, as well as at the Museum of Modern Art here in New York.

 

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Available
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49 5/8 x 42 7/8 x 29 1/8 inches (126 x 108.9 x 74 cm)

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Acrylic, epoxy resin, papier-mâché, wood, and plastic bucket
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Untitled

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2007

Zwirner & Wirth is pleased to present an exhibition of Outdoor Sculpture at David Zwirner's 519 West 19th Street gallery space. The works on view will include a selection of works spanning the years 1969 to 2006 by Carl Andre, Mark di Suvero, Robert Gober, Sol LeWitt, John McCracken, and Franz West.

 

The works on view will explore the development of sculptural concerns that were uniquely addressed by these artists, showing how traditional, monumental sculpture was transformed to include work that expanded the relationship of sculpture to the space of the viewer. By the 1960s, the notion of sculpture as a static, pedestal-based medium that idealized and monumentalized its subject matter was radically extended to include works that addressed their physical and temporal surroundings. These concerns would continue to be developed by a range of artists over the course of the pursuant decades and, moreover, would be examined within the broader context of the outdoors.

 

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Zwirner & Wirth is pleased to present an exhibition of work from the 1990s by Austrian artist Franz West. Considered one of Europe's most influential living artists, West is known for work that has played a critical role in redefining the possibilities of sculpture and the ways that art is experienced.

Since the 1970s, West has experimented with a variety of media and genres. While he is known primarily as a sculptor, his work has incorporated drawing, collage, video, and installation, using papier-mâché, furniture, cardboard, plaster, found imagery, and other diverse materials to create not only a singular aesthetic, but also a conceptually coherent oeuvre that calls artistic and societal conventions into question. By playfully manipulating everyday materials and imagery in novel ways, he creates objects that serve to redefine art as a social experience.

 

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For more information about available works contact inquiries@davidzwirner.com

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