Franz West (artist)

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Franz West (2009)

Franz West (born February 16, 1947 in Vienna ; † July 25, 2012 there ) was one of Austria's most important contemporary visual artists .

He lived and worked in Vienna and made a name for himself above all in the field of three-dimensional design ( sculpture , environments , room installations ). But performances , graphics and posters can also be found in his work.


Honorary grave of Franz West and Tamuna Sirbiladze in the Vienna Central Cemetery

West studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with Bruno Gironcoli . The first exhibitions followed in the 1980s, but his preoccupation with sculpture began earlier with the so-called “fitting pieces”: free, transportable, indefinable forms made of plaster of paris , paper mache or metal that are placed on the body as supports, prostheses or growths could. Among other things, he wanted to visualize neuroses : "I claim that if you could see neuroses, they would look like this" . Communication and interaction with and through art has always been a fundamental theme of his work. From 1987 onwards, all kinds of seating furniture were created, alienated, ironized, made of prefabricated parts or covered with fabric. The pieces of furniture of recent years also address the question of the boundary between art object and everyday object, which since the early 20th century has become a constant companion of the visual arts, which has been a source of discussion. In 1993 West designed the Austrian contribution to the Venice Biennale . From 1992 to 1994 he was a professor at the Städelschule , Frankfurt am Main. Works by the artist were shown at documenta IX in 1992 and at documenta X in Kassel in 1997 .

West's older brother was the Viennese “worker poetOtto Kobalek (1930–1995), a Viennese original in the circle of Helmut Qualtinger . For the 2009/2010 season in the Vienna State Opera , Franz West designed the large picture “Three - From Process to Temperament” as part of the “Iron Curtain” series of exhibitions conceived by museum in progress . In 2011, Franz West was awarded the golden lion at the Venice Biennale for his life's work.

Franz West was married to the artist Tamuna Sirbiladze . He received an honorary grave from the City of Vienna in the Central Cemetery (Group 33 G). The pink grave sculpture was made by former assistants of the artist. For this purpose, a much smaller sculpture created by Franz West was enlarged. The decision to do so was made by his widow and the Franz West Private Foundation after Franz West's death.

Solo exhibitions (selection)

Flause , 1998, aluminum
One of the four "lemur heads" (aluminum and white paint) on the Stubenbrücke in Vienna
Generally (2007), Munich



  • Kristine Bell (Ed.): Franz West - Early work [Publication for the exhibition of the same name in the Galerie Zwirner & Wirth (from 2010 only run as Galerie David Zwirner), October 30, 2004 - January 8, 2005.] Zwirner & Wirth, New York 2004.
  • Franz West: Franz West - Displacement and Condensation . [Publication for the exhibition of the same name at the Gagosian Gallery London, September 12 - October 21, 2006.] Gagosian Gallery, London 2006. ISBN 1-932598-36-7
  • Franz West, Benedikt Ledebur : Extroversion - a talk / a conversation . [Published on the occasion of Franz West's participation in the exhibition ILLUMInations, curated by Bice Curiger as part of the 54th Venice Biennale 2011, at which West was awarded the golden lion for his life's work.] Schlebrügge.Editor, Vienna 2011. ISBN 978 -3-902833-00-6
  • Kasper König (Ed.): Franz West - Autotheater . [Publication for the retrospective of the same name in Cologne, Naples and Graz; Museum Ludwig, December 11, 2009 - March 14, 2010; Madre - Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, May 15 - August 23, 2010; Kunsthaus Graz, September 24, 2010 - January 9, 2011.] DuMont, Cologne 2009. ISBN 978-3-8321-9280-8 .
  • Agnes Husslein and Harald Krejci : Franz West - ARTISTCLUB , 21er Haus, Vienna 2016, ISBN 978-3-903114-14-2 in German; ISBN 978-3-903114-29-6 in English.
  • Franz West , in: Internationales Biographisches Archiv 03/2012 from January 17, 2012, in the Munzinger archive ( beginning of article freely available)
  • Otium , based on the artist book of the same name by Franz West, radio play by Oliver Augst , with Rüdiger Carl and Heimo Zobernig , ORF 2017. Released as LP in 2018 by Koenig Books London . Edited by Astrid Ihle. Text by Benedikt Ledebur . Concept & Design: Heimo Zobernig. Slipcase with a record in sleeve & 2 booklets (12 pp. & 32 pp.) - text in German & English. Language.

Web links

Commons : Franz West  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Der Standard : Artist Franz West died on July 26, 2012 , accessed on September 18, 2018
  2. ^ Franz West. Austria Forum (AEIOU)
  3. ^ Official Awards of the 54th International Art Exhibition., June 4, 2011, archived from the original on January 13, 2013 ; Retrieved June 4, 2011 .
  4. Tamuna Sirbiladze , website
  5. ^ Honorary grave for artist Franz West at the Central Cemetery in Vienna - Vienna Online, July 26, 2012
  6. ^ Johann Werfring: Where death in Vienna revives tourism . In: "Wiener Zeitung", November 2, 2018, p. 18.
  7. ^ Information on Franz West on the occasion of the Franz West - Apartment , Deichtorhallen , Hamburg, 2001 exhibition
  8. Exhibition Sit on My Chair, Lay on My Bed. Applied Art , April 29, 2008 - September 28, 2008 ( Memento of the original from December 28, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. Biography, Bibliography and Works ( Memento of the original dated December 23, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. in the Eva Presenhuber gallery @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  10. ^ Franz West. Car theater. Cologne - Naples - Graz - retrospective at the Kunsthaus Graz (September 25, 2010 to January 9, 2011)
  11. ^ Announcement on the exhibition , accessed on August 31, 2014.
  12. ^ Exhibition Franz West - Where is my eighth? ( Memento of the original from August 9, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. from March 23rd to March 26th May 2013. PDF. Online at @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. ^ Every morning a fried egg for the sculpture in FAZ of January 2, 2017, page 13
  14. ^ Extroversion published by Schlebrügge