The colourful, naturalistic, flowing works of Austrian artist Franz West (1947-2012) filled the 18th century townhouse of the David Zwirner Gallery. I probably saw this in the wrong sequence with regard to the exhibition at Tate Modern which I visited afterwards. Ideally, it should have been the other way round as the Tate’s exhibition provides an overview of West’s life and work that explains much of what was on show at David Zwirner. The opportunity however has now gone as this exhibition has now closed. If you managed it, it was worth seeing both as the two exhibitions were complimentary to each other.
One of the best things about this exhibition was the way that Franz West’s furniture flowed into a parallel exhibition by Tamura Sirbiladze (1971-2016) who hailed from Georgia but has a link with Franz West in that she studied at Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna before moving to the Slade in London. I wonder if they ever met in Vienna? Her work is bold, colourful, naturalistic, feminine and often tries to break convention – with for example standing canvases on the floor, and was an excellent foil to West’s furniture. Perhaps we may see more such connected exhibitions of two artists in the future?
It was also fascinating to see a connection between the artist and the gallery with West’s 1998 plaque celebrating five years of the gallery, and looking like the London plaques that we see across buildings in London