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Franz West

Franz West, Wegener Räume 2/6–5/6, 1988, metal, wood, papier- mâché, gauze, paint, plaster, collage. Installation view, Galerie Peter Pakesch, Vienna.

PETER PAKESCH

AS SOMEONE WHO HAS WORKED in the field of art for a long time, and who sees art as an essential part of human identity, I have always found it a great privilege to be able to watch firsthand the gradual development of an artist. I feel especially privileged to have done so in the case of an artist as outstanding as Franz West. I knew Franz for many years, and for more than two decades I worked closely with him in a variety of roles: as a gallerist, friend, and museum curator. I was always amazed by the way he continually altered our notions of how art functions and what it means. For Franz, art was always interaction: an intellectual challenge as well as a sublime aesthetic experience. It is this combination that makes his oeuvre both so uniquely appealing and so radical.

In 1978, I went to pick up several of Valie Export’s pieces from Vienna’s Galerie Nächst St.

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