Qwertz (2001) Franz West

photo Otto Snoek
About the artwork

Qwertz was created by the Viennese artist Franz West, who designed an image that contrasts with its surroundings in every respect. The shapes are meant to stand out and raise questions: What are these weird things? What does it represent? Their artificial, almost poisonous colors make the job even weirder than it already is. The title Qwertz is consciously not really explanatory either; it refers to the 1st five letters on a German keyboard. The five monochrome colored, elongated rolls of sheet metal that make up the work most closely resemble enlargements of hand-rolled clay pieces. They are made from a core wrapped in 'cloth' aluminum, welded together in an irregular pattern. The 'sausages' are intended to be user-friendly; West has previously made such images that he calls 'Sitzwurste', made to sit on. And indeed the statues on the Eendrachtsweg are often used as benches. They sit best astride, as if you were on a horse. For more information: Sculpture International Rotterdam.

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About the artist

The Austrian artist Franz West (Vienna, 1947 - 2012) has built up a considerable body of work in thirty years. Even before he attended an art academy, his artistic experiments were made in the form of photos, graphics, monochrome painted material paintings and reliefs in papier-mâché. In the mid-1970s, he started training at the Viennese Academy of Visual Arts. West is seen as one of the most important contemporary Austrian artists, which has distinguished itself primarily through a mixture of sculpture, installations, land art, performances and graphic art.

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