Sculptures at EsteplatzFranz West

Sculptures at Esteplatz

An outdoor sculpture by Franz West

From the beginning of his artistic career, Franz West questioned the view that art objects can merely be viewed reflectively. Even with his earliest sculptural works, created in the mid-seventies and later called “Passstücke” (Adaptives), the viewer was to be actively involved as an equal counterpart in the process of experiencing art. The “Adaptives” were to be taken off their pedestals and "used" - only this would give the sculptures their true meaning and complete them. The seating objects created in the early eighties, which also invite use, took this idea further. Here, too, the reactions to the work are understood as an integral part of the work itself. Later, Franz West was interested in the idea that an interaction with the viewers takes place on a mental level. The works can be stimuli for reflection, which the artist himself often encouraged in the form of titles or texts.

The sculptures for outdoor spaces, created from 1996 onwards, are also to be seen in this context. Until 2012, hundreds of such works were created, which represent an important part of his creative work. Franz West had models made that visualized his idea and served as a template for his assistants to execute pieces, specifying dimensions and color scheme. By choosing bright, strong colors, he deliberately contrasted the objects with nature and the urban space. With his so-called "garden furniture," Franz West even transferred his ideal of idleness to the outdoors and had furniture built for use in gardens, parks, and squares.

The group of sculptures at Esteplatz, made of epoxy resin, are untitled. The bases of the sculptures are sunk into the ground, giving the impression they are growing from the ground. There was no fixed arrangement for the five sculptures by Franz West, so the Viennese artist Heimo Zobernig was asked to define their placement on Esteplatz. The installation was built posthumously in 2012 according to a 1:10 model by the artist's assistants. It was shown in 2013 in a group exhibition at City Hall Park in Manhattan, New York, and will now, for some time, give a new face to the square where his longtime studio was located as well. Franz West worked in Vienna throughout his life. His studios were located in Vienna's third district beginning in the 1990s, initially on Weißgerberlände, then in Geusaugasse, and later on Esteplatz.

It is possible to visit his former studio and the archive and library of the Franz West Privatstiftung at Esteplatz 3/Top 2 every first Thursday of the month, between 11 am – 1 pm without an appointment (except holidays).


Esteplatz / corner Uchatiusgasse, 1030 Vienna

Further Information

Franz West * 16. Februar 1947 in Vienna; † 25. Juli 2012 Vienna
Franz West Privatstiftung


Sculptures at EsteplatzFranz West

Time Period

December 3, 2022 to 2027

U3, U4 Wien Mitte

In cooperation with Franz West Privatstiftung and with the Estate Franz West.

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Franz West Privatstiftung

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