los-angeles

Franz West

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)

Some of us have a phobia of couches—of the small larvae, germs, and imprints of past sitters that occupy their dense and foam-filled folds. We sit lightly, carefully, lest a cloud of skin cells gust up to envelop our sinking buttocks. It is ill-advised to sit naked on someone else’s stuffed furniture.

A bevy of brilliantly colored couches in MoCA’s outdoor plaza comprised Test, 1994, Franz West’s first site-specific museum installation in the U.S. A similar set of furniture installed at Documenta was covered in drab carpets. The 28 couches installed here are festive, bright, and clashing. Along with Gilbert Brettenbauer (who designed and fabricated the covers), West visited the garment district and chose fabrics that reflected a loopy cross-section of Los Angeles. The patchwork slipcovers and bolsters were haphazardly sewn from African prints, prom-dress satin, and funfair fake fur. Silky

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