Franz West (1947-2012)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Franz West (1947-2012)

Untitled

Details
Franz West (1947-2012)
Untitled
lacquer and acrylic on papier-mâché, styrofoam, cardboard and metal on acrylic and wood stand
sculpture element: 43¼ x 46 x 35.1./2in. (109.8 x 116.8 x 90.2cm.)
wood element: 30¾ x 39 3/8 x 33in. (78 x 100 x 83.8cm.)
Executed in 2005 (2)
Provenance
Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich. Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Exhibited
Oslo, Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, Dump; Postmodern Sculpture in the Dissolved Field, 2007 (illustrated in colour, p. 41).
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.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Lot Essay

'West's sculptures have always been woven into social activity - be it the lonely use of a sculpture by a collector or viewer, or the social processes set in motion by a sculptureThe social process is not always pre-programmed, because it can also be set in motion by the unconscious motives of the user. However, West's concept of sculpture is unthinkable without the potential for the active involvement of the viewer, with the form of the potential activity being 'built into' the sculpture'
(R. Fleck, Franz West, London 1999, pp. 68-69).



Franz West's monumental papier-mâché sculpture, Untitled, executed in 2005, the same year as the artist's solo exhibition at Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, uncannily oscillates between abstraction and figuration. 'West's work is held internationally in notable collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris and Guggenheim, New York. Throughout West's distinguished and multifarious career the artist has engaged with the formal qualities of his work, painstakingly labouring so that every minute detail of a piece conveys this specific feeling. Almost anthropomorphic in shape, Untitled ignites the viewer's tactile desires with its coarse coppery surfaces, undulating folds, jagged edges, deep ravines and beguiling curves. Similar to West's celebrated Pastücke series, small sculptures uncannily resembling everyday objects that the viewer was invited to pick and move around their own body, the present work is built up from found objects that are allowed to break through the work's paint splattered surface in order to emphasise its own construction. It signifies the presence of West and serves to constantly remind the viewer of the artist's dual ability to create and destroy.

West plays with the intriguing tactile quality of Untitled that compels the viewer to reach out and touch the work by deliberately displaying the work on an imperfect plinth, playfully reminding the viewer that this is a piece of art that should not be touched. As West has remarked: 'as a body, you stand or walk around the sculpture. It is almost equivalent to your own corporeality, to taking up space in one's own three-dimensionality in a defined artsapce. As far as sculpture is concerned, the viewer is more or less obliged to engage in movement. There is something standing here that you walk around, and perhaps the impression you have of what is being presented also determines whether the movement is quick or especially slow, depending on whether you are really concentrating' (F. West, quoted in R. Fleck, B. Curiger and N. Benezra, Franz West, London 1999, pp. 8-9).

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