Franz West - Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York Wednesday, May 15, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Hussenot, Paris

  • Catalogue Essay

    “ …[West’s] career isn’t punk or being against: It is about finding the complex orders in disorder, the austerity in topsy-turviness, giving boisterous life to the id and permission to himself, his audiences, and his objects to create all the unrestrained elbow room needed. ”
    JERRY SALTZ, 2012

    Born amidst the ruins of Post-war Vienna in 1947, it comes as little surprise that Franz West’s work is both steeped in the figurative traditions of the European avant–garde, while also existing largely as a caricature of those practices. Often regarded as an anti-formalist and praised for his work’s accessibility, West’s aim was never to critique or protest that of his predecessors or his contemporaries. He sought rather to cultivate an additional dimension in the practice of making and exhibiting art, wherein the audience is activated, and their engagement with the work and the space surrounding it becomes art unto itself.

    West rose to notoriety in the 1970s with pieces that he called Passtücke or Adaptives—white sculptural objects formed of plaster, papier-mâché or other found media—that he continued to produce into the 1980s and would later elaborate and expand upon through the end of his life. The present lot, Untitled (Two heads), 2004 is a central work of the Adaptives series, and moreover, of West’s evolution as an artist. While still operating at the periphery of performance and art-object that came to define his career, the work’s materiality—lacquered aluminum, rather than plaster—speaks to a decidedly more permanent and further realized vision of would ultimately become West’s legacy, without compromising on the eccentricities that first set him apart.


Untitled (Two heads)

lacquered aluminum, aluminum stands
(i) 94 1/2 x 34 5/8 x 61 3/8 in. (240 x 88 x 156 cm.); (ii) 95 5/8 x 31 1/8 x 74 3/4 in. (243 x 79 x 190 cm.)

$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for $461,000

Contact Specialist
Zach Miner
Head of Sale
[email protected]
+1 212 940 1256

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York 16 May 2013 7pm