Collection Hummel. Years spent together

Collection Hummel, Wien (ed.)

Texts by Georg Fritsch, Heidi Harsieber, Julius Hummel, Franz Koglmann, Friedl Kubelka, and Rudolf Polanszky

German / English, 226 pp., 22.3 × 28.8 cm, numerous color illustrations, softcover

August 2018

ISBN 978-3-903172-24-1

€ 38,00 [A]

€ 37,00 [D]

Before Franz West became an internationally renowned artist—and his immense work an object of desire for collectors, gallerists, and museums—he had worked on developing his materials, techniques, and motifs in precarious economic conditions and largely unnoticed by the Vienna art scene of the 1960s and ’70s. This book, presenting a vast collection of unpublished early works, offers a fresh look at the genesis of West’s oeuvre, his exploration of Beuys, Freud, and Wittgenstein and of the philosophy of language and trivial culture. He begins to use his “private” handwriting as a visual element, toys with techniques and materials (drawing, collage, overwriting, stone, plaster, wood), seeks means of expressing his disgust with latent everyday fascism, and attempts to come to terms with his conflicts with authority and the law. In his later works, West, who provoked many ruptures and shifts during his career—which ultimately erupted into fame—elaborated many formal and conceptual decisions of his early works. Here, the book reveals something that has heretofore remained in the shadows: West’s loyalty to himself and his beginnings as a troublemaking crossover artist.