Franz West at Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp
Tim Van Laere Gallery presents its third solo exhibition by the internationally acclaimed Austrian artist Franz West (1947, Vienna – 2012, Vienna). West is undoubtedly one of the most important sculptors and environment artists in contemporary art. His oeuvre is characterized not only by its unique forms, but also for the communicative quality with which he directly addresses the viewer, urging him or her to participate. The exhibition brings together various aspects from the wide oeuvre of Franz West. Both collages, sculptures from papier-mâché, plaster and polyester, furniture and installations from different periods of his career are shown.
In the mid-1970s, West made his so-called Paßstücke (Adaptives), movable sculptures made of plaster and metal that were intended to be moved, touched, and handled—transforming viewers into participants. For West, the essence of the artwork is not the appearance, but how the work is used. These objects stimulate the ingenuity of the public and disrupt conditioned behavior in the exhibition space. From the 80s, his works incorporate more fragile materials, such as papier-mâché and glass bottles, which he combined in the Labstücke (Refresher Pieces).
As a consistent continuation of the Paßstücke, West has been working since 1987 to construct seating and leaning furniture, using prefabricated elements and discarded industrial products that he covered by stretching fabrics or carpets over them. His work makes us think about our living space and the social and personal activities that are happening there. The artist aims to create a certain interaction between artwork and viewer, between object and subject. An interaction that must ensure that art becomes an open and interactive process.
Later in his career, Franz West also focuses on sculptures in the public space.
at Tim Van Laere Gallery, Antwerp
until 20 January 2018