Franz West Furniture

For Franz West, art was a social experience. Starting with his signature Passstücke, or Adaptives, in the 1970s, the Austrian-born artist (1947–2012) made sculptures that were meant to be handled and “adapted” by the audience. His furniture works, which he began creating in the early 1980s, only took this intention further. Furniture became an extensive part of his practice by the latter half of the decade—in his mind, these sculptural works were “Adaptives for the human body at rest.”

 

In parallel with West’s inclusion in the 2019 West Bund Art & Design fair in Shanghai, David Zwirner Online presents a selection of furniture by the late artist. Installations of his furniture have been presented at the Venice Biennale; the Kunsthistorisches Museum, in Vienna; The Dia Center, in New York, and Documenta, in Kassel, Germany, among many others. Presented here is a selection that includes a group of chairs in lurid hues of pink, red, yellow, blue, and green, along with his DivanChaise LoungeTrog (Trough) sofa, and Sinnlos coatrack.

An image of furniture by Franz West.
A furniture work by Franz West, titled Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), dated 2006/2015

Franz West

Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), 2006
Stainless steel, epoxy resin, and acrylic lacquer
33 1/2 x 20 1/8 x 21 1/4 inches (85 x 51 x 54 cm)
A furniture work by Franz West, titled Textilstuhl (Textile Chair), dated 2012/2015

Franz West

Textilstuhl (Textile Chair), 2012
Steel, foam, linen, and paint
33 7/8 x 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches (86 x 50 x 50 cm)
Franz West’s chairs installed on the Punta della Dogana, 44th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 1990.
Franz West’s chairs installed on the Punta della Dogana, 44th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 1990.
Clamp (1995), installed in the Carnegie International 1995, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Clamp (1995), installed in the Carnegie International 1995, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
A furniture work by Franz West, titled Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), dated 2006/2016

Franz West

Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), 2006
Stainless steel, epoxy resin, and acrylic lacquer
34 5/8 x 20 1/8 x 21 1/4 inches (88 x 51 x 54 cm)
A furniture work by Franz West, titled Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), dated 2006/2015

Franz West

Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), 2006
Stainless steel, epoxy resin, and acrylic lacquer
34 5/8 x 20 1/8 x 21 1/4 inches (88 x 51 x 54 cm)

“I came to art via the places where artists meet, places where you would go and sit.”

 

— Franz West

A furniture work by Franz West, titled Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), dated 2006/2015

Franz West

Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), 2006
Stainless steel, epoxy resin, and acrylic lacquer
33 1/2 x 20 1/8 x 21 1/4 inches (85 x 51 x 54 cm)
A furniture work by Franz West, titled Diwan (Divan), dated 1991/2014

Franz West

Diwan (Divan), 1991
Steel, foam, rubber, and linen
39 3/8 x 90 1/2 x 33 1/2 inches (100 x 230 x 85 cm)
Franz West pictured with Viennoiserie,1998, Tate, UK
Franz West pictured with Viennoiserie,1998, Tate, UK
A furniture work by Franz West, titled Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), dated 2006/2015

Franz West

Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), 2006
Stainless steel, epoxy resin, and acrylic lacquer
34 5/8 x 20 1/8 x 21 1/4 inches (88 x 51 x 54 cm)
A furniture work by Franz West, titled Trog (Trough), dated 1996/2015

Franz West

Trog (Trough), 1996/2015
Steel, foam, and linen
31 1/2 x 66 7/8 x 27 1/2 inches (80 x 170 x 70 cm)

Auditorium (1992), installed at documenta IX, Kassel, Germany, 1992

From left: Franz West in his studio, Vienna, 1995. © Archiv Franz West, © Estate Franz West. Franz West chairs, photograph by Matthieu Lavanchy
From left: Franz West in his studio, Vienna, 1995. © Archiv Franz West, © Estate Franz West. Franz West chairs, photograph by Matthieu Lavanchy
An image of furniture by Franz West.
Photo by Matthieu Lavanchy
Photo by Matthieu Lavanchy
A furniture work by Franz West, titled Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), dated 2006/2016

Franz West

Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), 2006
Stainless steel, epoxy resin, and acrylic lacquer
34 5/8 x 20 1/8 x 21 1/4 inches (88 x 51 x 54 cm)
A furniture work by Franz West, titled Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), dated 2006/2015

Franz West

Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), 2006
Stainless steel, epoxy resin, and acrylic lacquer
34 5/8 x 20 1/8 x 21 1/4 inches (88 x 51 x 54 cm)
David Zwirner reclining in Franz West’s Untitled (Chaise Lounge), 1994. Photo by Sebastian Hartz
David Zwirner reclining in Franz West’s Untitled (Chaise Lounge), 1994. Photo by Sebastian Hartz

“The subversiveness of using furniture as sculpture and vice-versa is self-evident. It was West’s attempt to challenge the aesthetic relationships between art and objects of everyday life.”

 

— David Zwirner

A furniture work by Franz West, titled Sinnlos (Senseless), dated 2008/2014

Franz West

Sinnlos (Senseless), 2008
Steel and synthetic resin paint
15 3/4 x 78 3/4 x 3 7/8 inches (40 x 200 x 10 cm)
An image of furniture by Franz West.
Photo by Matthieu Lavanchy
Photo by Matthieu Lavanchy
A furniture work by Franz West, titled Chaiselognue (Chaise Longue), dated 1992/2015

Franz West

Chaiselongue (Chaise Longue), 1992
Steel, Foam rubber, and linen
38 7/8 x 36 1/4 x 50 3/8 inches (99 x 92 x 128 cm)
A furniture work by Franz West, titled Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), dated 2006/2015

Franz West

Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), 2006
Stainless steel, epoxy resin, and acrylic lacquer
34 5/8 x 20 1/8 x 21 1/4 inches (88 x 51 x 54 cm)
A furniture work by Franz West, titled Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), dated 2006/2016

Franz West

Künstlerstuhl (Artist's Chair), 2006
Stainless steel, epoxy resin, and acrylic lacquer
34 5/8 x 20 1/8 x 21 1/4 inches (88 x 51 x 54 cm)
Franz West,Test, 1994. © Archiv Franz West, © Estate Franz West
Franz West,Test, 1994. © Archiv Franz West, © Estate Franz West

In 1988 and 1989, Franz West created a series of "double-seats,” which include Liege (Chaise), that were designed for use by two people. In exhibiting these pieces as he did in his 1989 exhibition at P.S.1 in New York, West would often place newspapers over his early furniture works in order to provide fodder for conversation. The newspaper would be replaced every day with the current edition.

A sculpture by Franz West, titled Liege (Chaise), dated 1989.

Franz West

Liege (Chaise), 1989
Metal
28 1/4 x 28 1/2 x 77 inches (71.8 x 72.4 x 195.6 cm)
An image of furniture by Franz West.
Photo by Matthieu Lavanchy
Photo by Matthieu Lavanchy
An image of furniture by Franz West.

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