Lukas Gschwandtner has lengthy been focused on ladies on chaises longues. ‘I’ve at all times observed depictions of reclining feminine figures, carved into constructing façades and friezes,’ says the Austrian artist in a Zoom interview in early October. For years, he has meticulously documented such figures encountered in museum and gallery visits, drawn to the number of postures, behaviours and gestures, and the factors of contact between limbs and pillows. This assortment of images grew to become the inspiration for his Pillow Portraits collection, first offered at Brussels’ Maniera gallery in spring 2021. ‘I began to immediately translate these postures into wearable canvas sculptures,’ he says. ‘The second the sculpture is worn, it instantly directs the physique to impersonate the corresponding portray or art work.’
Fendi at Design Miami 2022: Triclinium by Lukas Gschwandtner
A yr on, Gschwandtner is presenting his Pillow Portraits as a part of a brand new set up at Design Miami 2022 (29 November – 4 December), on the invitation of Fendi’s inventive administrators, Silvia Venturini Fendi and Kim Jones. The fee enabled him to spend a while in Rome, the place the style home is headquartered, and he speaks of this time fondly: there have been stunning summer time days wandering across the Villa Medici, Vatican Museums and Galleria Borghese; visits to Fendi’s ateliers; and conversations with Venturini Fendi, who enthusiastically responded to his analysis and quipped that she would work, eat and socialise from mattress all day lengthy if she may get away with it.
There was additionally a memorable go to to the Sistine Chapel, the place, carried away by the music on his headphones and the great thing about the frescoes, he intuitively began taking pictures on his cellphone – not realising the commotion he brought on amongst irate safety guards attempting to implement the venue’s no-photo coverage.
Now again in Vienna, Gschwandtner has distilled the highlights from his Roman sojourn into particular person Pillow Portraits sculptures: amongst his muses are Sleeping Ariadne, a marble copy of an historic Greek sculpture, now within the assortment of the Vatican Museums, and Antonio Canova’s Venus Victrix, modelled after Napoleon’s favorite sister and on show at Galleria Borghese.
Referring to earlier analysis, Gschwandtner additionally homed in on Solitude (Melancholia), a Giorgio de Chirico portray depicting a sculpture of a dejected Ariadne towards a backdrop of arched arcades, whose geometry evokes the Fendi HQ at Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana.
These Pillow Portraits are made out of an off-white canvas: ‘The fabric takes away historic, class and gender context and relaxes the attention, so we’re concentrating solely on the form and type,’ explains Gschwandtner. He additionally enjoys its resemblance to calico, the heavy, plain woven cotton textile generally used within the trend trade for prototyping clothes.
As we communicate, the Pillow Portraits are nearing completion and Gschwandtner is making ready to journey to Brussels, the place he’ll assemble them onto three metal chaises longues of his personal design.
In Miami, these chaises longues can be offered within the format of a triclinium, a seating configuration sometimes discovered within the eating rooms of rich historic Romans. Elongated for impact and overlapping at factors, the chaises longues can be wearing a heavy, grey-blue silk that the artist had discovered within the Fendi ateliers and was drawn to due to its shine and its resemblance to upholstery cloth, significantly from the Baroque and Rococo durations.
To recreate the sense of privateness that historic Roman customers of a triclinium would have sought, Gschwandtner will curtain off the Fendi sales space at Design Miami 2022 utilizing a thinner model of the canvas from the Pillow Portraits.
And whereas projected customer numbers forestall Gschwandtner from permitting most people to placed on his Pillow Portraits on this event, they may see a video of him and numerous collaborators modelling the art work, in order to higher display its relationship with the human physique.
For the previous few years, as a part of its Design Miami fee, Fendi has requested every collaborator to current an interpretation of its iconic ‘Peekaboo’ bag, which debuted in 2008. This was a dream task for Gschwandtner, who, previous to turning into an artist, had educated as an equipment designer.
‘My response was to fill every compartment of the bag with plaster, so I may perceive its internal construction,’ he says. He then lower out the coagulated plaster parts and intends to make use of them to adorn his set up.
Conceptual and experimental, Triclinium marks a departure from Fendi’s earlier Design Miami commissions, which embody the likes of Cristina Celestino, Kueng Caputo and Peter Mabeo – all illustrious designers who’ve nonetheless put ahead extra typical displays of furnishings. Gschwandtner, in the meantime, goals to create ‘a unconscious and bodily house for dialog, [reflecting] on how museums are skilled and the way historic surfaces are learn’.
It’s a little bit of a raffle on the a part of the style home, however the truth that Gschwandtner is extra of an rising expertise than his predecessors. However from what we’ve seen to date, it’s been definitely worth the danger.
Triclinium is on present from 29 November – 4 December 2022 at Design Miami
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A model of this text seems within the December 2022 Entertaining Problem of Wallpaper*, obtainable from 10 November in print, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple Information +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* right now (opens in new tab)