Responding to the Actionist and Performance Art movements of the ‘60s, the Austrian sculptor Franz West created delightfully light-hearted mixed media objects and large scale installations merging ideas of form and function in art and performance. Beginning in the ‘70s West produced a series of small, portable sculptures that he called “Adaptives” meant to be held, carried or worn by viewers to complete the artwork. This dialogue between viewer and art was explored throughout his career.
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His work, described in The New York Times as, “willfully unserious, nonideological and accessible,” is part of the permanent collections of institutions including the Centre Pompidou, Museum of Modern Art, Museum Ludwig Cologne and MAXXI. In 2011, West was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale.