• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 11960

    First Open | London

    14 April 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 93

    Franz West (1947-2012)

    Onkel-Stuhl (Uncle Chair)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Franz West (1947-2012)
    Onkel-Stuhl (Uncle Chair)
    numbered 'P670' (on the rear left leg)
    steel frame with woven synthetic textile
    33 x 24 x 21 ¼in. (84 x 61 x 54cm.)
    Executed in 2008, this work is from an unlimited edition, each unique


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    With their steel frames draped in brightly-coloured woven fabric, Franz West’s Onkel-Stühle (Uncle Chairs) are among his most important works. Evolving from his early Adaptives – a series of abstract sculptures intended to be physically handled by the viewer – West’s chairs embody his fascination with the relationship between art and object. ‘In historic art museums ... you find tables and chairs in the exhibition spaces that are not to be used’, he explains. ‘I used to ask myself the same sort of questions that they would ask, like, “Is that art disguised as furniture or is it furniture disguised as art?” or “What gives these items of furniture the right to be in these rooms?” ... Then I saw Artschwager and Beuys’ chair of fat (tempting his adversaries to sit down on it), which created a sensation at the time, and I also saw the difficulty of evaluating art. In the eighties, an Italian furniture company asked if people would like to submit designs and to my astonishment leading Minimal and Conceptual artists did indeed send drawings. I jumped on the bandwagon and, in the process, acquired an identity – that of an activist fighting for the emancipation of furniture’ (F. West in conversation with A. Spira, 2003, reproduced in V. Loers, Franz West, Cologne 2006, p. 138). The subject of his acclaimed installation at Documenta X in 1997, West’s chairs invite the viewer to sit down, whilst simultaneously retaining their status as elusive works of art.

    Special Notice

    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
    This Lot is transferred to an offsite warehouse ‘Cadogan Tate’ at the close of business on the day of the sale. We will give you 2 weeks free storage from the date of the sale and after that point charges apply. All other lots will be held at Christie''s South Kensington until 5pm the fifth Friday after the sale. It will then be transferred to Cadogan Tate.


    Provenance

    Galerie Ghislaine Hussennot, Paris.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.