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Who knew fashion designer Helmut Lang also makes sculptures? Not I. Yesterday, I went over to Washington Square to take a look. Lang has collected and repurposed materials such as tires and foam to create saggy, multi-layered totems that are a cross between fungi and phalluses. Combined with tar and plaster these mostly monochromatic pieces are rich with their original textures and indentations. There’s something very appealing about seeing them all together, as if in a surreal forest of strange vertical vegetation, many taller than me…though that doesn’t take much.
There is something vaguely Louise Bourgeois about these sculptures and later I read that Lang collaborated with both Bourgeois and Jenny Holzer over the years. He retired from fashion in 2005 to dedicate himself to his art full time.
Seeing these works in the parlor floor of a Washington Square townhouse just adds to the unusualness of the exhibit. It’s fun just to see what one of those houses looks like inside.
Helmut Lang’s Sculptures will be on exhibit at 24 Washington Square North (Mark Fletcher is the buzzer) through June 15, 2012.