Few contemporary artists had the power to influence several generations like Austrian artist Franz West did. In fifty years, West only gained international recognition in the mid-1980s for his sculptures made in the early 1970s, foreshadowing the influence he would have on young artists in the 1990s. As a free spirit, he was particularly inspired by the philosophy and the psychoanalysis work of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Sigmund Freud. Franz West played with the ugly and the beautiful, always in an unapologetic way. Until his death in 2012, West always kept on working. Today, and until December 10th, Centre Pompidou puts his work under the spotlight with the largest retrospective ever dedicated to the artist. With nearly 200 works, from the famous “Passstücke” (“pieces that adapt”) to the Auditorium (a collection of iron sofas covered with carpets inspired by Freud), Centre Pompidou invites the visitor to apprehend West’s multiform and intergenerational work. This exhibition curated by Christine Macel and Mark Godfrey (Tate Modern) feels like a true tribute, and it was previewed by some of today’s leading figures in the artistic scene such as gallery owner Thaddaeus Ropac, and artists Laurent Grasso (currently on display at Perrotin), Sophie Calle or Christian Boltanski.

Photos: Valentin Le Cron
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