With almost two hundred works, this unique retrospective – the most comprehensive to date – dedicated to the work of Franz West seeks to examine the legacy of the Austrian artist, one of the most influential of the last fifty years.
A free and independent spirit with no formal training, Franz West (1947–2012) remained under the radar for almost fifteen years before his sculptures from the early 1970s brought him to international attention in the late 1980s. Paradoxically, this rather delayed recognition and the influence Franz West had on younger generations from the 1990s helped free him from any generational categorisation and granted him a timeless quality. Franz West’s complex character – profoundly individualistic and sceptical, yet, at the same time, continuously engaged in dialogue and discussions tinged with playfulness and sarcasm – led him to developing a unique body of work capable of taking on board and transcending all influences. A genre-defying collection of almost six thousand itemised pieces to date, his work has always blurred the lines between art and life in its most ordinary aspects. Moreover, it flits constantly between the popular and the cultured, action and contemplation, the individual and the group, the natural and the intellectual, and even art and craft.