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April 17 2014

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At Victoria Bartlett, Skin Is In

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Fans of VPL won’t be surprised to hear that designer Victoria Bartlett is obsessed with anatomy—VPL is short for Visible Panty Line, after all. But her fixation on the body goes beyond her signature maxi dresses with the bra-cup tops. Tomorrow night, Bartlett is hosting an opening for an exhibition at her Mercer Street store in Soho that she curated with Renee Vara, in which she invited 15 artists to submit work based on the theme (and shown under the title) Second Skin. Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Jack Pierson, Collier Schorr, and Mark Borthwick are among the participants. Hrafnhildur Arnardottir (a.k.a. Shoplifter) is doing a performance in the shop window. All the work except hers will be for sale. “It could be literal, or it could be interpretive,” Bartlett says of the submissions. “It’s also about what’s underneath, getting under your skin, annoyance—all those different points are represented.” Ugo Rondinone’s wax and earth pigments sculpture, nude (xxxxxxxx) (pictured), could almost double as a mannequin. You won’t find any clothes hanging from it before or after the opening—the show will be up for two months—but more than likely his piece and the others will influence Bartlett’s own work. The crossover of media “keeps me ticking,” she says. “It’s fodder for my brain.”

Second Skin opens tomorrow at VPL, 5 Mercer St., NYC.

Photo: Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels and INPUT Journal/ Vara Fine Arts

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