Vienna, Austria, 1947-2012
Since the early 1970s, Viennese artist Franz West has created sculptures and installations that question the boundaries between everyday objects and works of art. Chairs, tables, sofas, beds, rugs, upholstery fabric, etc., all become the focus of critical, provocative and deliberately cheeky reflections on the nature and scope of the artistic gesture. Influenced by performance art and Viennese Actionism, West became interested in the role of the body in art, and the relationship between art and life. Early on, he created portable sculptures in papier maché named Paßstücke (Adaptives), with which viewers were invited to interact and perform. His works are often playful, and challenge the traditional parameters of art. Toward the end of the 1980s, West created installations that were at the crossroads of sculpture and furniture, and which could be used or modified by the public. Everyday furnishings have become a central element of his practice.