In recent decades Viennese artist Franz West has rigorously, yet humorously, expanded the possibilities of contemporary sculpture and today is one of the most renowned artists of his generation. With hindsight to the work of his teacher Bruno Gironcoli, but also to the performances of Viennese Actionism, West in 1974 developed his fragile “Passstücke”, amorphous-anthropomorphic prostheses made of plaster and paper-mâché that were often interpreted as allowing its users to act out their symptoms. Alongside he produced collages made of magazine images and pastose paint as well as image objects, which through the integration of everyday objects such as shoes suggest a use value. Since the 1980s West also produces posters and furniture, often exhibited in room-size installations with telling titles such as „Psyche“ and „Neurose“, alongside his famous sculptures made out of painted paper-mâché. Another aspect of his practices constitutes large-scale public sculptures that ironically confront the critical aspirations of that genre. For “Texte zur Kunst” Franz West has developed a special artist’s edition of a poster design for an exhibition that ultimately never took place. The design is based on a photograph of artist Octavian Trautmansdorff which shows West in a hospital bed as three persons are paying him a visit. In West’s painterly alterations of the motif hospital utensils turn into mysterious protuberances reminiscent of his amorphous sculptures. In colours typically for the artist’s œuvre – a flashy green and bright pink – the names of the artists participating in the planned group show and the slogan “Westendcocktail Gianna Nannini” are integrated into the print. The latter laconically links the artist’s name with the famous London theatre district, associations of medicamentation and the Italian rock singer from the 1980s. As always with West, it’s not the least a question of attitude.
For Texte zur Kunst Franz West has produced a special artist’s edition entitled “Plakatentwurf (Westendcocktail). Mit einem Fotos von Octavian Trautmansdorff”, 2009. The ditone print measures 86 x 118 cm (with a motif size of 69 x 100 cm) and is signed and numbered on the front. It comes in an edition of 60 + 20 APs and costs 980,- Euro plus shipping.