The world has lost a great artist who changed the way people looked at art and themselves. His great sense of originality and his generosity with other artists, writers and musicians will be missed by us all. Markus Roessle.
Franz West, an influential Austrian sculptor with a penchant for art objects that were willfully unserious, nonideological and accessible and were displayed in Central Park and on the plaza at Lincoln Center, as well as in international exhibitions and blue-chip galleries around the world, died on Wednesday in Vienna. He was 65.
His death was announced by the Franz West Foundation. He had been ill for some time.
“The Ego and the Id,” installed at the Doris C. Freedman Plaza in Central Park in 2004. Photo: Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times
Mr. West’s work ranged from collages to furniture to large, colorful public sculptures. It consistently embodied a kind of friendly iconoclasm in which form and function were pitted against each other, and the notion of artwork as an autonomous object was frequently undermined. His homely, rough-surfaced materials, like plaster or papier-mâché, sometimes doused with color, challenged accepted taste.
His efforts contributed equally to two of contemporary art’s most persistent trends: the interactive, collaboration-prone art of relational aesthetics and the cobbled-together assemblage-like objects called bricolage. He was also known for large, irreverent sculptures, like those shown in Manhattan in 2004 whose cartoonish, sausagelike shapes and patchwork surfaces, made of lacquered aluminum, parodied the usual decorum of abstract public art.
You can read the full article via NY Times here.
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