Make It Hard. Helmut Lang – from fashion design to art

I am always all about which can be thrilling but then there are times where I’m never in the right place at the right time to keep at it. As if I was out in the sticks, which I’m hardly ever, while urban time flies. Maybe I was lost in space or at least in some space on earth, lost for sure when I missed the Helmut Lang solo exhibition at The Fireplace Project, a contemporary art gallery in East Hampton, NY.

Installation View of 'Make It Hard' by Helmut Lang

Presented by Neville Wakefield, ‘Make It Hard’ showcased Lang’s artworks made out of the remains of his studio: ‘In February 2010, after a fire in the building where our studio in New York is located, which could have destroyed the rest of the archive, and after going for months through the pieces to see in which condition they are, I slowly became intrigued by the idea of destroying it myself and use it as raw material for my art. “Make It Hard” is literally the transition from soft to solid, and there is also a sexual reference implied.’ he told Dazed four weeks ago.

Resin, pigment, & mixed media. Detail image.

Resin, pigment, & mixed media. Detail image.

As Wakefield described it: ‘The columnar forms that rise from floor to ceiling invoke forces of nature and culture. They suggest both the accretive geological slowness of stalactites, and the destructive force of tornadoes. And if their material has been subjected to similar violence here it takes on the graceful abstract form of the endless columns; odes perhaps to Brancusi’s sculptural connection between terrestrial form and spiritual grace, life, and afterlife. Lang’s ambiguous forms are made not of stone or bronze, but of the objects and things he created during his twenty odd years as a fashion designer. The archive that stood testament to his immense achievement within that field – he had shredded. The materials and fabrics he used to give temporary definition to the body are now just traces of natural and synthetic fibres, plastics, metals, leathers, fur, skins, feathers and hair – erasing the past and the difference they once stood for. Thus metabolised, the material began to take the form of strangely beautiful excretions: witnesses to both the transience of our creative endeavours, and the enduring need out of which such efforts are born.’

Resin, pigment, & mixed media. Detail image.

Resin, pigment, & mixed media. Detail image.

The exhibition was shown from July 22, through August 8, 2011. The Fireplace Project is located in the former Talmage garage at 851 Springs Fireplace Road, in the Springs historic district of East Hampton, across from the Pollock- Krasner House. Just in case you should get lost like me.

Resin, pigment, & mixed media. Detail image.

 
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