Item description for Franz West (Collector's Choice) by Friedrich Christian Flick Veit Loers...
For 30 years now, Viennese artist Franz West has been in his own artistic territory, and for the last 20, he has been one of the most influential working sculptors, as confirmed by a solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in 1997. Through his "Passstucke" (passport pieces or adapters) of the 1970s, his furniture assemblies of the 1980s and bright exterior sculptures of the 1990s, West regularly irritates viewers with parody and outlandishness, and impresses with surprising solutions to the old social utopia of art and life. The implied invitation to touch his works disrupts the museum dynamic of velvet rope and burglar alarm, and leads to different levels of engagement--bodily, linguistic, philosophical and psychological--in which the artist's sense of humor shines through. This introduction to West's oeuvre is accompanied by commentaries, interpretation and details about his most recent work, developed over the past few years.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 11.4" Width: 9.2" Height: 0.9" Weight: 2.6 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2007
ISBN 3832176519 ISBN13 9783832176518
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Franz West, Illustrated and Clarified May 13, 2007
Franz West, born in Vienna in 1947, is one of the most influential and enigmatic artists of the post-War contemporary period. Primarily a sculptor, for many years the sculptural objects that he produced were fey and humble, inartistic and deskilled to such a degree that he did not consider them "formal" sculptures but Adaptives to be used in performance by friends and guests during happenings and awkward playlets. Usually compounded of dental gauze, wire and plaster, his objects are often displayed in communitarian settings, on stages, with furniture, as furniture, in front of paintings in museums, next to artist-designed texts that serve to further mystify or explicate the linguistic underpinnings of his artistic project. In more recent years, he has devoted himself to more "formal" sculpture, strangely inarticulate lumps of plaster and paper mache set on plinths often with the aid of an ungainly wire (like a head on a stick) or coffee can as their intervening support. Even large outdoor pieces made with sheets of painted aluminum manage to make their metallic skins look somehow off-hand and alien. Nor should the quality of his many gouaches and collages be ignored, nor his perverse sense of color, to which the cover of this book ably testifies.
This excellent volume is the latest in a series devoted to each of the different artists represented in depth in the controversial Berlin collection of Friedrich Christian Flick, a collection built on inherited wealth from Nazi slave labor and currently on display in Berlin's principal museum of contemporary art. Under these disturbing circumstances, it is astonishing to think that all of these major works by Franz West, an artist possessed of a singularly tortured and highly intellectual approach to life, are owned by a single person from such a family. Nevertheless, this book is the clearest and best illustrated explication of the several that I have read about West, one of the most important post-modern artists. Despite the many excellent points made in the essay about the link between his work and that of Vienna Actionism and the Young Wild Artists circle in which he grew, I like to think of West as a sort of European Richard Tuttle, an astute mix of fey humor and attention to material. Certainly, the formal properties of the objects derive from the process-oriented post-Minimalism of Joseph Beuys and Eva Hesse. They seem to have escaped from the madhouse into the funhouse.