Suspension Lamp, 1991.
160 x 20 cm.
Metal lamp.

Franz West (Austria, 1947)

West’s art is always participatory, seeking to enter into dialogue with its recipients and considering their various reactions as necessary to the completion of the meaning of the work. West’s Adaptives and furniture pieces invite active physical use, while in the case of other sculptures and works on paper, dialogue is intended to take place on an intellectual level, stimulated by the works’ titles, as well as by accompanying texts. Playful and ambiguous, West’s work is also deeply rooted in his involvement with philosophy and psychoanalysis, particularly the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889 – 1951) and Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939). In the 1990s, the artist’s work was presented at the Austrian Pavilion of the 44th Venice Biennale (1990);documenta IX, Kassel (1992); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Dia Center for the Arts, New York (both 1994); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (Carnegie International, 1995); Villa Arson, Nice (1995-96); and the Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (1996). A major, mid-career retrospective (Franz West, Proforma) was organized by the Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna in 1996 (it traveled to the Kunsthalle Basel; Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo; Nárondi galerie Praze/Sbirka moderniho umeni Veltrzni palác, Prague; Muzeum Sztuki w Lodzi, Lodz); and solo exhibitions were held at the Kunstverein Hamburg (1996); FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Fundação de Serralves, Porto (all 1997). West participated in documenta X, Kassel; and the Rooseum, Centre for Contemporary Art, Malmö, presented a solo exhibition of his work in 1999. The artist’s work was featured at The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2000), and Museum für Neue Kunst, ZKM Karlsruhe and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid presented the traveling survey Franz West: In & Out (2000-2001).