Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Innsbruck / Vienna
Private Collection, not for sale
2001 Franz West Gnadenlos/Merciless, MAK Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, AT
2001 Franz West Merciless, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, Massachusetts, USA (cat.)
Franz West. Gnadenlos., ed. Peter Noever, Hatje-Cantz, Ostfildern-Ruit 2001, pp. 128-135.
Franz West. Merciless, MassMoca, USA
Ensemble of 5 Collages:
(Sex sells), 2001, 137 x 74,5 cm
(Salammbo), 2001, 140 x 70 cm
(Gnadenlos), 2001, 144 x 59,5 cm
(the Houston Shrine), 2001, 140 x 87 cm
(Gnadenlos), 2001, 141 x 86,5 cm
The years between 2000 and 2003 in many respects were of great significance for Franz West, be it in relation to his private life, be it in terms of business or his art.
For the exhibition “Franz West. Die Aluskulptur,”” organised by Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman and hosted in the park of Ambras Castle in Innsbruck, in the summer of 2000, the artist creates his first comprehensive group of outdoor aluminium sculptures (for the “”Qwülze”” and other objects, aluminium sheets are cut into irregular polygons and welded onto skeleton-like structures, to form sausages tapering off at their ends, which are then painted, in bubble gum pink, filing cabinet green, plaster cast white, neon orange, neon pink, neon yellow, faecal brown, royal blue). This, for West, means a new material and new artistic perspectives, but also a larger staff, an extra studio, numerous works for gardens and public spaces.
Between installation and opening, he marries Nadja Pogats, his partner of many years. For the opening he has himself driven to the park (he does not have a driving licence) in one of his two Maseratis (bought second hand), the same one that he is later to smother in pink varnish for the exhibition “”Gnadenlos”” at the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna, thus turning it into a (no longer roadworthy) unique work of art.
International exhibition tours get under way: 2000 „In & Out“ ZKM Karlruhe und 2001 Palacio de Velázquez/Reina Sofia Madrid, Royal Botanic Garden Edinbourg, “”Appartement”” Deichtorhallen Hamburg, “”Gnadenlos/Merciless”” MAK Wien und 2002 Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, Massachusetts US, “”Burning”” MAC Marseille, 2003 “”Franzwestite”” Whitechapel Gallery, London,””We’ll not carry coals”” Kunsthaus Bregenz.
He changes galleries, parts company with David Zwirner and accepts an offer from Larry Gagosian. He leaves his wife and marries Tamuna Sirbilaze.
The five-part poster design series “”Miete/Rent”” comes about during preparations for the exhibition “”Gnadenlos”” at the MAK Vienna, to open in the autumn of 2001. West makes use of various posters and motifs from recent exhibitions, and also the advertising subject for his edition created for Kunsthaus Bregenz, where he is to have an exhibition only in 2003, and the cover design of the MAK catalogue (the embossing of a rabbit lattice on pink paper, inspired by Bruno Gironcoli’s catalogue “”Skulpturen – Arbeiten auf Papier,”” published by Galerie Elisabeth & Thoman in 1992; from this time onwards, in his biography, he cites Gironcoli as his teacher). The posters are stuck on considerably larger (taller) foam cartons, painted and written on with acrylic, until the only thing remaining of the pink of the rabbit lattice is the lattice itself. The upper and lower edges of the five collages are climbing and falling stepwise in the wall installation (behind Perspex), arranged according to the lines of text. Two of the collages profess to be poster designs, the one on the very left and the second to last on the right, yet they are compositions by the artist. This is Franz West’s largest ensemble of collages and together with the installation “”Vier Stühle 2001 neu zusammengestellt”” (Four chairs rearranged in 2001) it dominates one of the rooms of the MAK exhibition.