Spanning from early interactive work from the 1970s to more recent large installations, LACMA’s retrospective exhibition on Austrian artist Franz West is his most comprehensive in the United States so far. The exhibition, organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art, explores West’s history and position and highlights West’s critical contributions to post-1965 art. West expanded the definition of sculpture as an environmental and social experience and “continues to do so today,” according to Michael Govan, LACMA CEO. His work with furniture, found materials, papier-mâché has infused his work with a unique European character. Informed by philosophers Freud and Wittgenstein, West brings together the aesthetics of trash art and painterly abstraction in prosthetic and biomorphic forms. West’s collages, installations, sculptures and furniture can be experienced in over a hundred objects at LACMA, through June 7th, 2009.
Franz West, To Build a House You Start with the Roof: Work, 1972 – 2008
Los Angeles County Museum
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
March 12, 2009 – June 7, 2009
Exhibition Page [LACMA]
Press Release [LACMA]
An Interview with Franz West [LACMA]
LACMA Presents West Coast Premier of First Comprehensive Franz West Survey in U.S. [Artdaily]
Franz West @ LACMA [TRYHARDER]
Review: Franz West at LACMA [Los Angeles Times]
Franz West arrives at LACMA [Artsjournal]
Franz West Installation [Vimeo]
Franz West was born in Vienna in 1947. His artistic practice originated in the mid-1960s as a response to Actionism, a local movement that attempted to challenge the passivity of the art world through radical public performances. In the early 1970s, he developed a series of works that remained significant throughout his oeuvre. West’s Adaptives (“Paßtücke”) were small, mobile sculptures that required to be experienced by the viewer by picking it up and carrying it around. The interaction with the object completed the art work. According to West: “The idea was more to create an environment, and that the Adaptive could be handled and used rather than be looked at.” This idea has remained at the core of West’s artistic practice throughout the three decades that span his career and clearly resonates in the exhibition at LACMA.
Franz West has continued to live and work in Vienna, but is an artist of absolute international acclaim. His works have been included in Documenta twice and numerous times in the Venice Bienniale. In the past decade, West’s work has been exhibited at the Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna and at Whitechapel Gallery and Gagosian Gallery in London and New York. In New York, West’s work can be admired in the collection at the MoMA and in the museum’s recently opened exhibition Compass in Hand: Selections from the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection. In addition, Zwirner & Wirth gallery currently presents Franz West: Works From The 1990s ,through 2 May, 2009.
Compass in Hand: Selections from the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
April 22nd, 2009 – July 27th, 2009
Franz West: Works From The 1990s
Zwirner and Wirth
32 E 69 St New York
Febuary 27th, 2009 – May 2nd, 2009