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Franz West at BMA – on the Cover of Artforum’s October Issue

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Franz West: To Build A House You Start With The Roof
Work: 1972 – 2008

October 12, 2008 – January4, 2009

Considered one of the most important living artists, Franz West has created an extraordinary body of work since the 1970’s. This exhibition, premiering at the BMA, offers a rare glimpse into the artist’s life and art, with over 100 objects – sculpture, furniture, and works on paper.

To read an excerpt from the ARTForum Article, click here.


Experience the supersize, provocative, and playful work of acclaimed Austrian artist Franz West. Considered one of the most important living artists today, Franz West has created an extraordinary body of work since the 1970s. Discover this influential and provocative European artist in the first comprehensive survey in the United States of his celebrated career, premiering at the BMA.

Even before you enter the BMA, examples of how West (pronounced Vest) has helped redefine sculpture as a social and environmental experience greet you on the Museum grounds with their giant colorful forms. You can touch or sit on these intriguing sculptures and not get yelled at. Inside the galleries, the exhibition is organized as a series of mini-installations beginning with the artist’s most recent work—two 25-foot-tall aluminum sculptures made expressly for this exhibition. Bold and colorful, these enormous looping sculptures titled The Ego and The Id each have a place for you to take a seat and become a part of the art.

Subsequent galleries present works spanning West’s career, such as cabinets, tables, and chairs that infuse the art environment with the culture of bars, cafés, and domestic life (1990s), a large room of papier-mâché groupings and free-standing sculptures on pedestals (1980–1990s), and a gallery of stand-alone works that appear to almost, but not quite, tip over. In the final section (1970s), visitors can handle select Adaptives (human-scaled plaster sculptures) in a space tinged by the violet hue of West’s floor lamps. Throughout the exhibition, walls with clusters of collages show the often cheeky influences of mass media, comic books, pop culture, and advertising.


Exclusive Video: Friday and Peppy frolic with Franz West

Share Franz West photos on the BMA’s flickr site!

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