Franz West - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Meyer Keiner Gallery, Vienna
    Private Collection, 2005
    London, Sotheby's, Contemporary Art Evening Auction, 17 October, 2008, lot 63
    Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Bearing a certain element of brute force, Franz West’s oeuvre engages with the viewer to encourage the collaboration of physical and intellectual stimulus. Originally conceived as part of a site-specific installation with protégé Rudolf Stingel, Larvae exemplifies the sculptor’s unconventional approach to art-making. A scion of Viennese thinkers like Freud and Wittgenstein, West created sculpture emblematic of the human condition, probing the subconscious in its exploration of form. Interested in the interaction of shape and language, Larvae invites us to engage in West’s game of visual play. The large scale work is high in impact yet delicate in suggestion, probing the audience yet allowing them to form an individual response of their own. Like the twisted face of Munch’s The Scream, the biomorphic form evokes macabre images of ghouls, perhaps a personal premonition of the artist’s own untimely death. The hand-made and tactile quality of the work’s surface simultaneously seduces and repulses, providing further allusion to the absurd potential of the subconscious. The present lot, like West’s other later works, questions the relationship between body and mind. Using materials like lacquered aluminium, he appropriates physical simplicity and representation to encourage and incite emotive reactions and perceptions. The monochrome white creates a clean slate by which the artist can present his concepts yet, in its subsequent unhindered potential, renders the work a pertinent and uniquely captivating lot.



lacquered aluminium
250 x 96.5 x 95.5 cm (98 3/8 x 37 7/8 x 37 5/8 in.)

£100,000 - 150,000 ‡♠

Sold for £266,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 15 October 2014 7pm