LIFE AND WORK OF FRANZ WEST
Art masterclass at agricultural show Cycle race inspires new art collection
way you want. When you fit a piece to your body, then it is your experience of another body and the world is different.”
Designed to be held, carried or worn by viewer, the adaptives reflect West’s belief that everything is flexible, mutable and adaptable. “He wanted to experience reality in great depth,” says Badura- Triska. “There are many realities. It is a post-modern philosophy. You can take any piece as a kind of starting point for an experience which can be different with somebody else or somewhere else.” This openess to change and welcoming the influence and participation of others manifested itself in West’s frequent collaboration with other contemporary artists including Sarah Lucas, Turner Prize winnder Doublas Gordon and fellow Austrian Heimo Zobernig. “During his career Franz would bring in work by other artists to create a certain ambience,” says Badura-Triska. “Works of art got into dialogues with each other – he wanted to create a starting point for dialogue.”
The exhibiton title, Where is My Eight?, and the design for the exhibition poster were developed by West.
Both were inspired by his 2004 gouache Lost Weight depicting a woman pulling on a large pair of trousers which, following a successful diet, are now far too big for her. Playing around with the words, West finally came up with Where is My Eight? In itself it is another example of the artist’s habit of returning to, and adapting, previous works for a new purpose – and, characteristically, it also poses a question to the viewer.
One of the most intriguing elements of the exhibition is its investigation into the parallels between the work and practice of Barbara Hepworth and West through an intervention which will be presented in the Hepworth Family Gift gallery.
Badura-Triska was struck by the idea when she was installing three particular pieces of West’s.
“They are head-like sculptures – there is a tendency for people to see heads and faces in abstract pieces,” she says. “You can see this in Hepworth’s work and it is very much true in Franz’s work. The other thing is that they both worked in plaster and both felt that a single piece is not enough – they both revisited pieces they had made. And there was a physicality in their work.
“For me making this connection between them is the most exciting part of the show.” NEXT month’s Great Yorkshire Show will feature an exhibition designed to inspire new artists.
The agricultural event will be showcasing a number of artists exhibiting in the Art Pavilion, including Swaledale sheep artist Sandra Parker, who grew up on a farm. The venue will also be running a programme of master classes by artists from the region.
Artists taking part will include Richard Keeton, Les Packham and Fiona Bowley.
The Great Yorkshire Show takes place in Harrogate from July 8 to10. For tickets and the latest news visit www. greatyorkshireshow.co.uk A NEW joint exhibition in the region will include paintings to celebrate the Grand Départ.
The Departure will feature the work of two local artists – Paul Bramley and David Questa – and will include a series of abstract and figurative paintings.
Both artists were originally from York and a number of the paintings have been inspired by locations on the two stages of the Grand Depart which wends its way through the county next month. The exhibition takes place at the Sunny Bank Mill, in Farsley, West Yorkshire between July 3 and August 31.