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April 18 2014

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How Much Is That Sculpture in the Window?

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Bottega Window

Long a champion of fusing art and fashion, Bottega Veneta unveiled a new—and bold-faced—cross-industry display at its Fifth Avenue flagship today: a window installation featuring a trio of the house’s Fall ’13 looks alongside two select works by the late artist John Chamberlain.

On loan from Gagosian Gallery (a first-of-its-kind endeavor for the famed dealer Larry Gagosian), Chamberlain’s EMPIREMICROPHONE and COLONELGARGLE—a set of crushed, chrome-plated sculptures—flank three of designer Tomas Maier’s richly hued Fall ’13 frocks. Both Chamberlain and Maier drew upon assemblage—the mid-century style in which artists retaliated against abstract minimalism by focusing more on materiality and physicality (for example, Chamberlain is most often recognized for his works containing parts of junked automobiles)—when creating their displayed works.

Maier, though, also specifically referenced an offshoot of this moment, dubbed Arte Povera, in which a dozen or so Italian artists worked with preindustrial and decidedly more sustainable components such as rocks, paper, and rope. The effect—especially on these dresses, which feature regenerated and punched-through silk-wool blends in eye-popping autumnal palettes—gives the term mash-up a whole new meaning.

The windows will be on display at Bottega Veneta’s 699 Fifth Avenue store through September 17.

Photo: Courtesy of Bottega Veneta

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