Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Two paintings (1977-1978) by Franz West

Untitled (1978) by Franz West, paint on magazine ad in artist's frame

Franz West's (Austria, 1947) experimental sculpture, furniture and objects fuse Freud with form, sculpture with painting. Using brightly-coloured aluminium, papier-mâché or collage, West creates images and situations bordering on the taboo. [..] Franz West's forefathers are the Viennese Actionists - 1960s performance artists who used the body to trigger cathartic experiences. West gives form to attitudes through a series of plaster body parts or off-the-peg performance props, forcing the body into poses which are part hilarious, part agonised.


Franz West is fascinated by images in glossy magazines and the allure of soft-porn and the motor industry. In a playful critique of consumer culture, he paints over these advertisements to isolate images and highlight their absurdity. West has also become famous for the furniture-sculpture he has been making since the 1980s, inviting us to lie on his couches to relax, socialise and become transformed into artist's model, psychiatrist's patient and work of art. His offer of participation also extends to other artists - Martin Kippenberger, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Wolfgang Tillmans have all contributed to West's subversive, sociable and aesthetically challenging vision.


image source: here and here

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