A NEW FORMAL INVENTIONFranz West at Centre Pompidou

More than 200 artworks that show his
sarcastic and irriverent sensibility.


Franz West, Sex Trivial 1972

Centre Pompidou presents the biggest ever retrospective of the work of Franz West including almost 200 artworks. The exhibition represents the first opportunity to acknowledge the role of the Austrian artist, one of the most influential figures of the contemporary art.

“Franz West” abundantly celebrates the artist’s work from 1972 to 2012. It includes his rarely exhibited drawings from the early 1970s as well as his first sculptures, the series of Passstücke and performative sculptures made to engage with the viewers to “reveal their neuroses”. The show also features West’s Lemurenköpfe or Lemur Heads, the collages and drawings of his later years and models for open-air works and a selection of such sculptures, in addition to his furniture works, such as chairs and sofas.

Redefining sculpture in its relation to the body, the verbal and the viewer, he succeeded in creating an entirely original aesthetic. Anticipating the “provocative” aesthetic of the 1990s, he constantly inverted the categories of the beautiful and the ugly, the repulsive and the seductive.
More than anyone else, West redefined the notions of authorship and collaboration between artists, from visual artists to writers or musicians. The exhibition also considers West’s passion for music and the importance of philosophy and psychoanalysis for him, especially through the legacy of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Sigmund Freud. The exhibition will highlight not only the artist’s outstanding capacity for formal invention, but also with his irreverent and caustic sensibility.Learn more about “Franz West” at Centre Pompidou