Vienna

Franz West

mumok – Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien

Some have doubted the appropriateness of granting Franz West a museum retrospective at this point in his career, as he only began to achieve wide recognition during the mid ’80s. Skepticism might also stem from the fact that the fascination of his earlier shows lay in their focus on particular situations, something hardly possible in a large-scale exhibition. By showing the long prehistory of West’s work, however, this exhibition made it clear that he adopted his characteristic stance very early on—by about the mid ’70s—while it also demonstrated that his origins can be traced to the particular artistic and intellectual climate in Vienna during the ’60s. Even before West began working as an artist, the Vienna Actionists stood for him both as a reference point and a line of demarcation: he shared with this movement an interest in the body and in performativity, but from the beginning he

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