The Guardian may have said it best about the life and work of sculptor Franz West:
Austrian artist Franz West, who died yesterday, was a sculptural jester, a provocateur, a maker of benign and threatening objects. Encounters with West’s art are often occasions for laughter, though it is a laugh tinged with horror and disbelief. He could deflate the pomposity of the city square or the elegance of a park with his giant pink phalluses and lime-green sausages. Sitting on dignified plinths, his skewed and lumpy sculptures, often garishly painted, had a kind of idiot elegance.
Idiot, lumpy, skewed … only in an artist’s obituary could you get away with terms like that and still expect it to be a positive overview.
It’s worth noting that in 2011, West was awarded the Golden Lion at the Biennale di Venezia in recognition for his life’s work. Here he is accepting his award:
Here are a number of obits of note:
- “Franz West, Celebrated Austrian Artist, Dies at 65″ by Roberta Smith (NY Times)
- “Austrian artist Franz West dies aged 65” (BBC)
- “Franz West dies, aged 65” (Art Newspaper)
- “Franz West, Creator of Funky Interactive Sculpture, Is Dead at 65” (Artinfo)
- “Franz West, Austrian Sculptor Who Embraced Participation, Play and Design, Dies at 65” (Gallerist NY)
- “Franz West Dies at Age 65” (AFC)
- Franz West’s obituary on Gagosian.com
- West’s Wikipedia page