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Franz West

An installation consisting of a painting on cardboard and a simple metal bench, Vorzukunft (1992–97) by Franz West (b. 1947, Vienna – d. 2012, Vienna) is an early example of West's use of furniture, here constructed from scrap materials and notably without upholstery. Although the Mudam Collection piece cannot be used by visitors, subsequent works – which took the form of more comfortable foam-lined sofas and divans – are indicative of the artist's desire to provide a place to relax and discuss the artwork. In Vorzukunft – which means 'pre-future' in German – the metal bench faces away from the painting and towards the viewer, suggesting that our attitude is as important as vision when it comes to understanding artworks. This approach is typical of the artist's playful, unconventional attitude to exhibition-making, which aimed to break down barriers between art and life. West has described how these works originated in an invitation to design seating for an auditorium in Vienna, recalling that he had been inspired by memories of conversations on the Spanish Steps during a visit to Rome at the age of fifteen: 'From that experience came this ideal of sitting in the art, like a goal of sitting in the clouds: sitting in the art consuming life. It's perhaps a bit hippyish: not to participate in society but to have this art as life.'

Artworks

  1. Franz West Vorzukunft, 1992–1997

    Métal, carton, bois, peinture
    Banc 85 x 175 x 60 cm
    Pièce murale 160 x 250 x 5 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 1998 – Apport FOCUNA
    © Photo : Andrés Lejona | Mudam Luxembourg

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