Author: Petra Zechmeister
Year: 2012
Client: Viennafair

Read Franz West...

See you tonight at the Franz West opening at MUMOK Vienna. (Franz West: "Where is my Eight?", February 23 – May 26 2013). You can't come? Here you find a wonderful selection of books and catalogs about (and by) this well-known and outstanding Austrian artist who passed away last year.

What makes me happy? Artist books! Confessions of a "West-ianer"... I now realize the more I read interviews and books about and from the late Franz West, the more I find to love about him.

Let's start with the catalog "MAN WITH A BALL" & "FRANZ WEST":

On my way to the VIENNAFAIR office I couldn’t help but to pass by my favorite bookstore in Vienna – Buchhandlung Walther Koenig. Upon entering the store in the Museumsquartier, an artist monograph immediately caught my eye and made me curious to take a look. Made of thick cardboard with bold black letters written on a bright orange background, it stuck out of the books sitting on the tall rack in the middle of the space.

Kulturbuchhandlung Koenig, Vienna... one of the most important sources for books on art and architecture in the German. Their careful selection of literature from the fields of art, architecture, photography, and design includes newWalther König Books international publications and also bargain book. The space is not too big, so you dont get easily overwhelmed. I also love their attentive stuff. I always leave cheerfully with my bags heavy and my wallet lighter.

During Frieze Week last fall (Frieze Art Fair London), Gagosian Gallery’s Britannia Street outpost in London presented a major sculpture exhibition. This catalog documents Franz West's last show in London, which was called “Man with a Ball”. Among other things, it included the video work that lends the show its title, a scene of people at dinner parties bashing a big green ball into each other’s heads. I learned that Franz West was “actively engaged with the preparation of the exhibition” up until his death, according to a press release. The book is subdivided into three sections: the account of visits over time to West's studio by Matthias Goldmann, a photo essay of his studio in the 3rd district by Austrian artist Marina Faust, and a tribute to the show at Gagosian in images.

Franz West: Man with a Ball Catalogue 2012
Essay by Matthias Goldmann; Photo essay by Marina Faust; London 2012, Gagosian Gallery.
Buy it at Buchhandlung Walther Koenig or directly at Gagosian’s online Shop for $100.00 USD, also available in the U.S from Amazon's "The Book Depository" (an Amazon company).

I am now eagerly waiting to receive a copy in my mailbox of:
Franz West schrieb: Texte von 1975 – 2010, Author: Franz West, Editors: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Ines Turian, Publisher: König, 2011

Franz West schrieb: Texte von 1975 – 2010; Graphische gestaltung und copyright photo André Korbmacher

Franz West has been writing texts, notes, remarks and aphorisms non-stop since 1977. He attaches these texts to his sculptures, continuing the sculptural expression linguistically without illustrating or explaining. In places the titles, epithets and texts can raise awareness of the sculpture's form, in others they can drive the viewer mad or fascinate like the cryptograms of a lingual alchemist. Texts accompany Franz West's complete oeuvre. Thus far more than 200 have been created and they are published here in their entirety for the first time in a newly edited form, as facsimiles and in transcriptions.

Franz West (Contemporary Artists) by Robert Fleck, Phaidon Press (April 29, 1999)

This text examines the artist's work, and discusses the influence of Freud and Wittgenstein. The book features an interview with West, and a concentration on his work "Etude de couleur". This was an important signpost for the artist's oeuvre of recent times. The artist himself also contributes writings, including a sculptural text constructed like one of his sculptures. The book is part of a series of studies of important artists of the late-20th century. Each title offers a comprehensive survey of the artist's work, providing analyses and multiple perspectives on contemporary art and its inspiration.

EXTROVERSION_A Talk / Ein Gespräch_on the occasion of Franz West's participation in the exhibition ILLUMInations, 54. Biennale di Venezia 2011; Germ./Engl., May, 2011

EXTROVERSION is published on the occasion of Franz West's participation in the exhibition ILLUMInations curated by Bice Curiger at the 54th Biennale di Venezia 2011. For this installation he transferred the kitchen from his studio in Vienna to Venice, turning the space inside out and creating a Parapavilion. The kitchen is the space where West keeps a collection of artworks realized by assistants, friends and colleagues (Michelangelo Pistoletto, Otto Mühl, Gelitin, Sarah Lucas, Urs Fischer, Jean-Marc Bustamante and others). The talk between Franz West and philosopher Benedikt Ledebur revolves around Wittgenstein and Heidegger, language and space, „the democracy of the ugly“ in art and the human need to philosophize. order here at

WEST, FRANZ._WEST: Gespräche + Interviews
(Hrsg. von Johannes Schlebrügge & Ines Turian. Köln 2005).
In his conversations Franz West develops a free and creative associative style which is characteristic of his art over the past 20 years. It ranges from relaxed informality to artistic intensity and speculative irony. We find ourselves confronted by a strongly individualistic unconventional mind that challenges our accepted opinions and turns normal interview rhetoric on its head. As a result we have to reassess and redefine our own position. (you can bye it at Buchhandlung Walther König)

Sarah Lucas, Andreas Reiter, Raabe Franz West

There was a film called "Energy Diaries", shown at the ICA documenting a 2010 conversation between the two artists and also Andreas Reiter Raabe, with music interventions by Philipp Quehenberger; For pics and a short review visit: Two Knives Spooning, buy DVD from :

West: Autotheater – DVD in german. Ein Film von Ralph Goertz. Düsseldorf 2013. DVD. 22 min.
Ralph Goertz hat Franz West während seiner Retrospektive "Franz West - Autotheater" 2009 im Museum Ludwig in Köln begleitet. In zahlreichen Interviews entführte uns Franz West in seine Phantasiewelten und spricht ausgiebig über Werke und Werkgruppen von 1972 bis 2009.