Franz West © Markus Rössle, 2009

Franz West 1947 - 2012

The 65-year-old Viennese artist died last night

The internationally renowned Austrian sculptor, Franz West died last night in a Viennese hospital. He was 65 years old. West, who had been ill for sometime, was awarded a lifetime achievement Golden Lion award at last year's Venice Biennale.

Heavily influenced by the action and performance art movements of the 1960s, West's early 'adaptive' works functioned as small prosthetic devices, to be added to one's body. His later pieces would also serve as furniture, lamps, interiors and peculiar objet d'art. Dismissive of the passive appreciation of art, West said 'it doesn't matter what art looks like, but how it's used.'

Though his art was exhibited throughout the world, West continued to live and work in his native Vienna. The city plans to honour him with a memorial in the central cemetery and a retrospective at Vienna's Museum of Modern Art (Mumok). The exhibition runs February 23 to May 26, 2013.