Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition by Franz West.
The exhibition includes sculptures and works on paper from the early
1980s to more recent works related to the central motif of the Passstueke in West's art.
In the early 1970s Franz West began making small-scale assemblages
incorporating found materials such as cardboard, bandages, and wire,
which he then covered with a coat of plaster and white paint. He called
these sculptures Passstuecke.
West maintained that the viewer must engage with, handle, the
sculptures in order to fully experience their "ergonomic" nature.
Subsequently Passstuecke has been translated as "adaptive" but
this does not fully capture its original source as a technical term
meaning "parts that fit into each other." These early sculptures
function as prosthetics for an intimate version of the extreme
Actionist spectacles of the mid-seventies in Vienna.
Zdenek Felix said: "West's adaptives are situated somewhere between the
poles of body and psyche. Through use by the public, they could
definitely become objects for behavioral research. This would comply
with the intentions of the artist who is much more interested in the
handling of his 'objects' than their formal completion."
The exhibition brings together a collection of rare and previously unexhibited Passstuecke and collages from the early 1980s. Alongside these historical works is NYC-NAC (2000-2008), a Passtueck installation that allows several viewers at a time to participate, new
collages and posters, and a recent body of work that West refers to as
"inside/outside sculptures" made from traditional papier-maché, then
coated in fiberglass so that they can also be placed outdoors.
Franz West was born in Vienna in 1947 where he still lives and
works. He has exhibited widely in galleries, museums, and arts
institutions all over the world. His first major American retrospective
will commence at the Baltimore Museum in October 2008, traveling to the
Los Angeles County Museum.