Franz West

1947 · Austria

Artist biography

Franz West is an established contemporary visual artist, who was born and brought up in Austria, like other celebrated artists such as Christian Eisenberger, Bruno Gironcoli, Constanze Ruhm, Kurt Ryslavy, and Liselotte Höhs . Franz West was born in 1947.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Several galleries around the world represent and exhibit Franz West's work, including galleries in countries such as the United Kingdom and Austria. Galleries include Skarstedt Gallery | London and Luxembourg & Dayan | London in the United Kingdom, as well as Galerie Ruberl in Austria. Franz West's work has most recently been exhibited at Galerie Meyer Kainer in Vienna (17 January 2018 until 24 February 2018) with the exhibition Lemurenheim. Franz West's other most recent exhibitions recorded on Artland include the exhibitions at; Air de Paris in France (11 March 2018 - 22 July 2018) with the name Le Paradoxe de l’iceberg and Gagosian | Davies Street in the United Kingdom (08 June 2018 - 27 July 2018) with the name SISYPHOS SCULPTURES . Franz West's first recorded exhibition in Artland's database was called Works 1970–2010 and took place at Gagosian | Geneva in Switzerland from the 21 September 2017 to 15 December 2017.

Franz West in private collections

On Artland, Robert Mollers includes works by Franz West, but also others by Sandro Diener, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Liam Fallon, critically acclaimed artists and prominent figures of the Art World.

Historical Context of Austria

At the turn of the twentieth century, Austria was among the most pioneering and culturally progressive countries. It fostered key developments in the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau, called Jugendstil in German, from around 1895 to 1910, forming an important bridge between the nineteenth century and the onset of modernism. This kind of progressive, avant-garde thinking led directly into the Viennese Secession movement, one of the key art and design movements of the early twentieth century. It was founded in 1897 by a group of Austrian painters, graphic artists, sculptors and architects, including Josef Hoffman Koloman Moser, Otto Wagner, and Gustave Klimt, when artists resigned, en masse, from the Association of Austrian Artists in protest against its support for more traditional artistic styles. and an exchange of ideas with international artists, disputing artistic nationalism, renewing the decorative arts and, most crucially, creating a "total art (Gesamtkunstwerk)" that unified painting, architecture, and the decorative arts. The group was vehemently opposed to the domination of the official Vienna Academy of the Arts (the Vienna Künstlerhaus), and official art salons, with their traditional orientation toward Historicism. Ultimately the group broke apart, the decorative artists choosing instead to focus on a new guild called the Wiener Werkstatte. In the late 1930s, Austria was annexed by the developing force of Hitler's Nazi Germany, an act known as the Anschluss, and which organised Austria into a province of a greater German Reich. During this period, like in Germany, the Avant-garde was named 'Entartete Kunst', translating to 'degenerate art', and was oppressed with only 'official' social realist art being approved, or even allowed by the state. Consequently, there was a significant exodus of creative talent who decided that their interests would be best served by moving to London or New York. In the 20th century, important Austrian artists included Josef Hoffman, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Herbert Bayer (the typography and graphic design pioneer of the Bauhaus), architect and designer Josef Frank, Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Maria Lassnig, Hermann Nitsch, Arnulf Rainer, Franz West and Erwin Wurm.

Further Biographical Context for Franz West

Franz West was born in 1947 and was primarily influenced by the 1960s. Artistically, the decade began with the twin movements of Pop and Minimalism emerging alongside each other. On one hand, Pop advocated the visual culture of the mainstream and mass media, and of products and consumerism. The work of art by artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann and Claes Oldenberg was inspired by the popular culture of the fast developing Capitalism of the United States, taking things like advertising, comic books and ideas surrounding celebrity culture as their primary visual inspiration. A parallel movement developed on the West Coast in California - a strain that also related to language in art, and is viewed as the very first flowerings of conceptual art. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, predicated solely on line, colour and geometric form as key constituents of both painting and sculpture. The key figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Colour Field painting, as practiced by Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler, further developed some of the expressive ideas of Abstract Expressionism, but removed much of the rhetoric, instead approaching a more rule-based approach to surface and colour that associated this practice with Minimalism. Around the world a number of artistic movements echoed the creative concerns of the above mentioned movements, often with regional fortes and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni established Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker espoused similar ideas. The influential school of Existentialist Philosophy was an important source of creativity for creatives, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti achieving international prominence for their distinguishing approaches to the human form and the angst related to the human condition.

Franz West

  • Artworks in Collections 1
  • Exhibitions 25

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