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Franz West was born 1947 in Vienna, Austria. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Bruno Gironcoli. His first exhibitions followed in the 1980s, but his preoccupation with sculpture began earlier with the so-called Passstücke: free, transportable, indefinable forms made of plaster, papier-mâché or metal that could be placed on the body as supports, prostheses or plants. This is how he wanted to visualise neuroses, among other things: I claim that if you could see neuroses, they would look like this. Communication and interaction with and through art was always a basic theme of his work. From 1987 onwards, he created seating furniture of all kinds, alienated, ironised, made of prefabricated parts or covered with fabric. The furniture pieces of recent years also address the question of the boundary between art object and utilitarian object, which has been a constant source of debate in the visual arts since the early 20th century. In 1993 West designed the Austrian contribution to the Venice Biennale. From 1992 to 1994 he held a professorship at the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main. Works by the artist were shown at documenta IX in 1992 and at documenta X in Kassel in 1997. In 2011 he received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Biennale. West died on 26 July 2012 and was interred at Wiener Zentralfriedhof.