Lemurenköpfe (Lemure Heads)


Plaster, gauze, cardboard, iron, acrylic paint, foam, rubber

Four sculptures: 243.8 x 127 x 121.9 cm (96 x 50 x 48 in.) 243.8 x 137.2 x 76.2 cm (96 x 54 x 30 in.) 218.4 x 124.5 x 53.3 cm (86 x 49 x 21 in.) 221 x 109.2 x 73.7 cm (87 x 43 x 29 in.)

Sculptures presented on flimsy steel bases, these four Lemurenköpfe – or Lemur Heads – are enormous eyeless face protuberances, made with gauze and plaster. Their physiognomy essentially consists of three openings, i.e. the mouth and nostrils, and gives the impression of facing not four heads but just as many bellies ready to devour us.

Franz West’s interest in lemurs originated in 1987. He exhibited the first sculptures in 1992 within documenta IX. Just as his previous collages, his sculptures do not show clearly defined outlines: West explains that his inspiration takes its origin in the phenomenon of “pareidolia”, consisting in looking for silhouettes and faces in the shape of clouds or stones.

The four sculptures Lemurenköpfe by Franz West were first presented by the Pinault Collection at the 2016 “Accrochage” ("Hanging") exhibition at the Punta della Dogana.