He may be best known for the pioneering urban minimalist fashion aesthetic, but Helmut Lang has devoted the past seven years of his life to a different form altogether: art. The fashion designer-turned-artist’s sculptures have been shown in Hanover, Frankfurt, Moscow, and, last summer, in both Venice (where he was included in a Biennale group show) and East Hampton (where he is largely based). Now, the designer-turned-artist is getting his first major local exhibition. Lang has quite a vote of confidence from the art world as well —the show is timed to coincide with the opening of the Frieze Art Fair’s first New York edition and is being organized by art advisor Mark Fletcher and peripatetic independent curator (slash art-world darling) Neville Wakefield.
“Helmut Lang: Sculptures” opens at 24 Washington Square North on May 5 and remains on view to the public through June 15. The 20 or so totemic pieces tread the line between found-object mash-ups and inventive sculptural abstraction. They are composed of readymade rubber discs (bumpers, of a sort) that are stacked into freestanding compositions that mirror, in some sense, a languid silhouette. They look like precarious, barely held together and on the verge of succumbing to gravity like an avant-garde Jenga tower, or, perhaps, a model teetering down the runway in heels.