This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast remembers Austrian artist Franz West, who died two weeks ago at age 65. West was one of European art’s most Puckish innovators. His art was playful and sly — he often encouraged viewers to pick up and play with or to sit down on his work — but it was also deeply rooted in the intellectual history of Vienna, his lifelong hometown.
In 1996 West started making these large, indoor/outdoor sculptures in what he called his Autostat series. Installed in parks and museums all over the world, they have become the work for which he is best known. (Flickr is full of them.) Like West’s Adaptives, they are meant to be sat on and physically engaged with. This is Maya’s Dream (2006) and it’s in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Joining me to discuss West’s life and work is Darsie Alexander, the chief curator at the Walker Art Center. In 2008 Alexander curated West’s only American retrospective, which opened at the Baltimore Museum of Art and traveled to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
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