Obituaries USA

Franz West dies, aged 65

The Austrian sculptor died in Vienna after a long illness

Franz West, Photo: Didi Sattman, © Atelier Franz West

The Austrian sculptor Franz West died in Vienna on Wednesday after a long illness, aged 65. Known for his large-scale, oddly-shaped works often made from paper-mache, plaster and wire, West’s monumental looping sculptures The Ego and the Id were recently on view for a year from July 2009 to 2010 in New York’s Central Park, commissioned by the Public Art Fund.

West studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and was awarded the Golden Lion prize at the Venice Biennale in 2011.

“Despite his international fame, his humour, generosity and quiet energy never left him,” his representatives, the Franz West Foundation, Gagosian Gallery, Galerie Meyer Kainer and Galerie Eva Presenhuber, said in a joint press statement.

“He managed his recent illness with great fortitude and was thinking of projects and working on exhibitions, sculptures and catalogues until a few days ago. The world has lost a great artist who changed the way people looked at art and themselves. His great sense of originality and his generosity with other artists, writers and musicians will be missed by us all.”

More from The Art Newspaper


Submit a comment

All comments are moderated. If you would like your comment to be approved, please use your real name, not a pseudonym. We ask for your email address in case we wish to contact you - it will not be made public and we do not use it for any other purpose.


Want to write a longer comment to this article? Email


Share this