Franz West

Do you think the furniture is another aspect of bringing art and life together?
Yes, absolutely. The first divan I made was really comfortable but the first chairs were too high. When I was fifteen I went to Rome, and because I was alone there I went to the Spanish Steps, where you could meet people. It's the same in many Italian towns and cities with the fountain in the middle of a central square and people sitting around having conversations. 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 hippy-ish: not to participate in society but to have this art as life.

Franz West, To Build a House You Start with the Roof: Work, 1972–2008

March 12–June 7, 2009

For the past three decades, West has played a critical role in contributing to developments in post-1965 art, redefining the possibilities of sculpture as a social and environmental experience. His manipulation of found materials, papier-mâché, and furniture leads to an art that is unlike any other in appearance and application. Distinctly European in its look and origins, West’s art is now decidedly global, with monumental works populating plazas throughout the world.