Franz West

September 6 - October 20, 2001

Franz West -

FRANZ WEST
Group with cabinet (detail), 2001
8 papier mach� sculptures
Dimensions variable

 

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"When the cumbersome turns to beauty" - Quotation by Franz West, in reference to one of his sculptures, and derived from the title of an essay on Etruscan art. Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce the forthcoming exhibition of new work by the celebrated Austrian artist Franz West. West (b. 1947) belongs to a generation of artists influenced by action and performance art of the 1960s. He has evolved his concept of sculpture partly by incorporating elements of performance while utilizing classical procedures of clay and gesso modeling. West's choice of materials and his physical and psychological references range from prosthesis-construction and furniture making, to Freud, Gestalt-theory and Wittgenstein. Among the exhibition's highlights is a group of papier-mâché sculptures resting on tables and cabinets. The colourful amorphous head-like forms are imbued with aspects of both physical and spiritual worlds. Also on view are 'environments' that posit relationships between the combinations of every day objects with diverse artworks by the likes of Pistoletto, Bustamante, Kounellis the collective "Gelatin", and others. West's sculptures and installations have been described as "in-between forms", blurring the distinction between art and bodily experience, while exploring the crosscurrents between the artist and different contemporary media. For over 25 years, West, who lives and works in Vienna, has exhibited extensively around the world, including: the 44th Venice Biennale (1990); Documentas IX (1992) and X (1997); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1994); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1997); Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (1998) and Reina Sofia, Madrid (2001). West's work is on view at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh, as part of the International Festival from the 12th of August until the 14th of October. A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition.