Tate Modern to host major retrospective of iconic, punky artist Franz West 11.02.19

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Franz West Epiphany on Chairs 2011, Franz West Privatstiftung, Photo: Estate Franz WestFranz West Epiphany on Chairs 2011, Franz West Privatstiftung, Photo: Estate Franz West

The Tate Modern will host a major retrospective of Austrian artist Franz West's work, the first exhibition since his 2012 death and most comprehensive survey of his work in the UK.

The exhibition will include examples of West's furniture, collages and sculptures, showcasing his iconic, playful style and tendency to use ordinary, accessible materials such as plaster, wire and papier-mâché. West's colourful, often-large scale sculptures were transformative in their attitude to art and the gallery space over the course of several decades. Much of his work was designed to be touched, laid upon or moved, transforming the audience from passive viewer to participant. As part of the Tate Modern retrospective, visitors will be able to handle replicas of his Passstücke (Adaptives) – these papier-mâché pieces were designed to be picked up and moved, encouraging art to become something interactive.

Sarah Lucas, whose own work has frequently featured collage and found objects, has created pedestals and wall hangings for the exhibition, continuing her role as collaborator with (and friend of) West in this posthumous survey of his art.

West's work often touched on philosophical ideas and challenged the way people thought about objects, art and the gallery space. His collaborations with musicians, photographers and other artists - alongside the interactivity of his art - were representative of a unique and often punky attitude to creativity, an attitude that will be on show throughout this exhibition.

Franz West's work will be on display in the retrospective at the Tate Modern from 20 February to 2 June 2019

Read more about Franz West's work in Icon 189, an issue dedicated to creativity, mess and maximalism

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