Franz West: Dorit
FIAC Hors les Murs

October 16–November 08, 2018

Franz West: Dorit at FIAC Hors les Murs
Fer à cheval in the Jardin des Tuileries, Paris
October 16 – November 8, 2018
Inauguration: October 16th, 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Venus Over Manhattan
980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075


(Paris, France) – Coinciding with Franz West’s major retrospective at the Centre Pompidou, Venus Over Manhattan is pleased to present Dorit, one of the artist’s largest and best-known sculptures, in the Jardin des Tuileries. For its debut European presentation, the colossally-scaled pink sculpture will stand twenty feet high on the fer à cheval, prominently on axis with the Obelisk of Luxor in the Place de la Concorde. Previously featured in the center of West’s breakout exhibition at New York’s Lincoln Center in 2004, and again outside of the artist’s first American retrospective at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2008, Dorit will be on view in Paris from October 16th through 8th, 2018.

From the earliest moments of his career, Franz West produced work that privileged viewer participation and social interaction. Emerging in Vienna in the early 1970s, West belonged to a generation of artists influenced by performance art and the Viennese Actionists, who staged ritualistic performances intended to provoke revelatory experiences. Registering the importance of participant engagement, while rejecting the seriousness of the Actionists’ performances, West began making a series of small sculptures that he called Paßstücke (Adaptives). Mostly white and made from plaster, these objects were meant to be picked up and handled, and West intended for viewers to “adapt” the sculptures to their bodies. Engendering surprising positions and unexpected interactions, the Paßstücke prefigured much of West’s subsequent production, which drew on high and low cultural references to make sculpture that courted public engagement.

For the last decade of his career, West’s practice was mostly focused on large-scale aluminum sculptures that were meant for outdoor display. Brightly colored and humorously shaped, West often made these works to transform public spaces into playful settings for experiencing art. Typically striking gestural silhouettes and bold compositions, West’s lacquered forms invite viewers to congregate and observe seemingly absurd shapes, blown up to massive scale, in unexpected locations. Seen against the historic classicism of the Jardin des Tuileries, Franz West’s Dorit will appear as a twenty-foot-tall column comprising four knobby spheres, standing on end like a totem of gigantic pink gum balls. Made entirely of lacquered aluminum, Dorit is among the largest works that Franz West ever produced, and one that he returned to in a number of related collages, which place the sculpture on top of buildings in Vienna and Singapore. Situated in the center of the fer à cheval, Dorit will expand Franz West’s presence in Paris during his exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, bringing further attention to his radical and transformative practice.


Franz West was born in 1947 in Vienna, Austria. He attended the Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna from 1977 to 1982. West’s work has been the subject of numerous international solo presentation, including recent exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Mass MoCA, North Adams; Museum fur Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Philadelphia Art Museum, Philadelphia; Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin; and the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. His work is frequently featured in important group exhibition, including recent presentations at Venus Over Manhattan, New York; Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel; Inverleith House, Edinburgh; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.  West’s work is held in the permanent collections of numerous public institutions, including the Albertina Museum, Vienna; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. West lived and worked in Vienna until his death in 2012.

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