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Artists Index: Franz West

Franz West (Born 1947, Vienna. Lives and works in Vienna.) The work of Franz West often operates as a theatrical prop, where the emphasis is on the ‘handling’ of the object rather than it’s formal completion - an idea that has been explored extensively in the sculptures that he once termed Paßstück, Whilst a technical term meaning ‘parts that fit into each other’, the sculptures have subsequently come to be known as the ‘adaptives’. West began making these strange plaster forms (incorporating found materials such as cardboard, bandages, wire) in the early 1970s, sometimes situated next to ‘Please Touch’ signs, an audience was originally encouraged to wear, carry or play with the sculptures. It was thought that through this sort of engagement, the viewer could become an active participant, involved in experiencing the full ergonomic nature of a sculpture.. West has exhibited internationally for more than three decades in galleries and museums, and at major festivals including Documenta IX (1992) and Documenta X (1997), Kassel, Germany; Sculpture Projects in Münster (1997); and the Venice Biennale (1988, 1993, 1997, 2003, 2007). He is represented by Gagosian, London.