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Franz West: Roman Room

October 28, 2010 by Georgia

Until 30 October 2010 at the Gagosian Gallery in Rome

For over a month the Gagosian Gallery in Rome has been showing a collection of new sculptures by Franz West. The exhibition finishes on Saturday, so it’s the last chance to see this impressive show of the renowned Vienna-based artist.

From the press release:

Belonging to the generation of artists exposed to Actionist and Performance Art of the 1960s and 70s, West instinctively rejected the traditionally passive nature of the relationship between artwork and viewer. In the seventies, he began making a series of small, portable, mixed media sculptures called Adaptives (Passstücke). These “ergonomically inclined” objects become complete as artworks only when the viewer holds, wears, carries or performs with them. West has continued to explore sculpture in terms of an ongoing dialogue of actions and reactions between viewers and objects in any given exhibition space. His amorphous and highly endearing sculptures transform public spaces into sociable aesthetic environments while his furniture designs and subversive collages further challenge the boundaries between art and life.

In this exhibition of new sculptures, West takes basic shapes and transforms them into irregular large-scale constructions. His persistent playfulness with the principles of classical sculpture is evident in Ecolalia (2010), a group of seven painted totems built from papier-mâché, cardboard, polystyrene, and objects. He fashions each one into a precariously stacked form that rises out of a trash can or bucket for a pedestal, grappling with contingency and equilibrium to produce unexpected results. Some of them teeter almost three and a half meters high with alternating rectangular and circular forms while others evoke the shape of a funnel. They can be viewed from sofas that West has designed both for comfort and to provide alternative positions and viewing platforms throughout the show.

For more information about Franz West’s Uncle Chair or his book To Build a House You Start With a Roof, both available at Other Criteria, please click here.