Franz West

West Signature - Franz West

Franz West (1947 Vienna 2012 ) studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Professor Bruno Gironcoli. His work was influenced by the performance and action art of the 1960s, including Vienna's Actionism. Günter Bruns, Otto Muehl, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler were the primary representatives of this movement in which they engaged in destructive, violent acts thus challenging public behavior. Being part of this movement, Franz West rejected the traditional passive way of viewing art and tried to create an active relationship between the viewer and the work of art.

"It doesn't’t matter what the art looks like, but how it’s used"

Franz West

In the 1970s, he began to produce his small portable sculptures called “Passstücke (Adaptive)”. He made them of plaster, polyester, metal or paper mâché, only becoming complete as artworks when the viewer holds, wears or performs with them. Than in 1987, he started to produce furniture. He modified chairs, lamps and tables in a slightly ironic way and whipped the discussion about the range between fine and applied art. Later he worked on huge three-dimensional sculptures which he painted monochrome in yellow, green or pink. The form of these sculptures reminds the viewer of snakes, loops or phallus like twists.
In 1993 he created his contribution for the Austrian pavilion at the Biennale of Venice. His works were shown at the documenta IX and X in Kassel. He was one of the most innovative and progressive artists of his generation.