The late Austrian sculptor, designer and installation artist Franz West, who was honoured with the Venice Biennale Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement back in 2011, continues to be feted internationally for his pioneering oeuvre, reflecting and encompassing participation, play and design.
This month, New York's Gagosian Gallery outpost is celebrating his distinctive design with new editions of his works, produced by Franz West Privatstiftung (opens in new tab) in West’s Vienna studio by his staff. But this range of the designer's furniture, initially launched from 1992–2011, is rooted in more than mere functionality.
‘Transcending the entrenched status of art as object for pure contemplation, West designed these furniture works as constituents of sculpture that are as elemental as they are convivial,’ says Ealan Wingate, the Gagosian's New York director.
The works on view include sofas upholstered in raw linen and tables with steel legs encased in cardboard tubing. Nor is West’s work solely marked by spare lines and beige upholstery; there’s a metal coat rack of sinuous pink squiggles and chairs punched up with bold palettes.
High profile museums like Centre Georges Pompidou and the MAXXI in Rome hold examples of West’s design in their permanent collections. ‘True to West's vision, the works have drawn a devoted following of collectors,’ says Wingate. Private collectors include London auctioneer Simon de Pury and Upper East Side/London dealer Dominique Levy, along with Andrew Hall – founder of the Hall Art Foundation (opens in new tab) in Reading, Vermont – and artist Mary Heilmann. ‘Fifteen years ago, Franz and I showed in the same Vienna gallery and I was struck then by his domestic design sensibility while crossing over into serious sculpture,’ says Heilmann. Today, West’s pronounced aesthetic and philosophy remain paramount, embraced by an increasingly wide audience.
High profile museums like Centre Georges Pompidou and the MAXXI in Rome hold examples of West’s design in their permanent collections. ‘True to West’s vision, the works have drawn a devoted following of collectors,’ says Ealan Wingate, the Gagosian’s New York director.
The works on view include sofas (and this chaise lounge) upholstered in raw linen and tables with steel legs encased in cardboard tubing.
‘Transcending the entrenched status of art as object for pure contemplation, West designed these furniture works as constituents of sculpture that are as elemental as they are convivial,’ says Wingate.
Photography by Marina Faust, courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Copyright Franz West Privatstiftung. ‘Franz West: Möbelskulpturen/Furniture Works’ is on view until 7 November
Gagosian Gallery (opens in new tab)
976 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075
VIEW GOOGLE MAPS (opens in new tab)
Treehouse in the Brazilian forest draws on its wooded context
A treehouse by Studio MEMM blends organic forms and architectural gestures to create a space from which to enjoy the wooded natural surroundings
By Ellie Stathaki • Published
Vipp Palazzo pop-up hotel opens inside Brescia’s historical Palazzo Monti
Scandi minimalism meets Baroque maximalism in Vipp Palazzo, a pop-up hotel by the Danish brand in the heart of Brescia
By Rosa Bertoli • Published
Kunokaiku urns become everyday domestic objects to address the subjectivity of loss
Kunokaiku urns were created by photographer Marianna Jamadi with Mexican ceramic studio Menat, as a way to remember a loved one at home
By Sheila Lam • Published
Gagosian brings a taste of Casa Malaparte to London
London's Gagosian Gallery presents a collection of furniture reproductions from Casa Malaparte, Curzio Malaparte's legendary villa perched atop a promontory on the island of Capri
By Ali Morris • Last updated