Echolalia (2010) by Franz West, via Gagosian Gallery
I see my works as quite compatible with a l’art pour l’art philosophy. One may think that I try to take the art object out into the world since my works sometimes appear to have a practical function, but really it’s the other way around: things in the world can, under certain special circumstances, enter the realm of art.
Currently on view at Gagosian Gallery in Rome is Franz West’s “Roman Room,” an exhibition of new sculpture by the Austrian-born artist. In this body of work, West transforms basic shapes into irregular, large-scale structures. He incorporates visual elements derived from performance art, as well as classical art and sculpture.
Echolalia (2010) is a work comprised of seven painted totems, made from papier-mâché, polystyrene, cardboard and other objects. Each form is presented as a stacked structure, rising alternately from trash cans or ready-made pedestals. The sculptures appear to struggle for balance and equilibrium. They can be viewed from sofas which West has situated within their midst, in order to explore them from various angles, and at a leisurely pace.
Caino va Incontro ad Abele (2010) by Franz West, via Gagosian Gallery
In Caino va Incontro ad Abele (2010) West uses two figures to re-create the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Made from steel and epoxy resin, the figures are positioned in opposing stances, and painted in a high-key range of colors.
Franz West (b.1947) belongs to a generation of artists influenced by Actionist and Performance Art of the 1960s and 1970s. Earlier in 2010, a major retrospective of his work entitled “Franz West: Autotheater” was shown at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne before traveling to MADRE in Naples, Italy. This retrospective will also be on view at the Universalmuseum in Graz, Austria from September 25, 2010 to January 9, 2011.