An army of mannequins clad in vibrant plaids, masks, and cowboy hats. A cherry-red assemblage fashioned from a Coca-Cola cart. A photograph of a giant ear. These are just a few of the works one encounters while touring German artist Isa Genzken’s new show at the Museum of Modern Art.
The exhibition marks Genzken’s first retrospective stateside, presented with support from Céline. (Creative director Phoebe Philo is a huge Genzken fan, and flew to New York to toast the opening with a party.) “It’s past time,” says MoMA curator Laura Hoptman. “It’s a goldmine of innovative work by a strong woman artist that had never been seen in the United States. It was kind of a curator’s dream.” Indeed, visitors unfamiliar with Genzken who, now 65, has been producing art for the past forty years, are given much to explore, from the artist’s minimal wooden Ellipsoids to her unsettling found-object sculptures to her imposing comments on metropolitan architecture.
“Genzken has a broad brush. She’s moved from one language to another with alacrity,” says Hoptman. “There’s a seamlessness to how she looks at how we live every day—the junk we see on Canal Street, the construction sites, the cool clothes, the beat of techno music—that’s embedded in this very lofty ideal of what culture is. For me, that is the future of contemporary culture—it’s high, low, and everything in between. She’s very much a banner woman for that.”
Isa Genzken: Retrospective runs through March 10 at the Museum of Modern Art, moma.org .
The exhibition Cartier: Le Style et l’Histoire opens tomorrow in the freshly restored Salon d’Honneur at the Grand Palais in Paris, and to say it’s dazzling would be a gross understatement. Overwhelming is the only fit description for the show’s richness and scope.
Upon entering this low-lit exhibit, the diamonds on which the jeweler built its reputation hit you between the eyes. Slowly spinning on a column is a remarkable display of tiaras worn by such royalty as Princess Marie Bonaparte and American high-society figures including Mary Scott Townsend, whose headpiece prompted one onlooker to comment, “But she wasn’t even royalty!”
Yet however regal Cartier’s origins, the purpose of this 600-piece exhibition is to show its evolution from “jeweler to the kings” to inventor of modern, radical style. Two early twentieth-century examples: the bold graphics of diamonds paired with onyx, and daring to show color combinations that were previously considered in poor taste (think sapphires and emeralds). The idea of shaking up the fine jewelry palette started when Cartier developed close ties with fashion, notably with the original haute couturier, Charles Frederick Worth. It further gathered momentum many years later, when Coco Chanel began mixing Cartier’s wares with semiprecious stones. A Deco evening dress by Jérôme, on loan from the Palais Galliera, adds further texture to an impressive array of everyday objects small and large, from cigarette cases and lighters to opera glasses, handbags, and clocks.
Two cornerstone gems are the 478-carat Sri Lankan sapphire, one of the largest in the world, which once belonged to Queen Marie of Romania, and the Berenice, a carved emerald of Mongol origin, which was mounted into a necklace for the International Exhibition of 1925.
And then there were Cartier’s clients, A-listers all. A rogues’ gallery of Café Society figures, loyal customers, and style-makers begins with major collector Daisy Fellowes, whose favorite tutti-frutti Hindu necklace was renegade in its day, and includes Marjorie Merriweather Post, Gloria Swanson, Elizabeth Taylor, and the original panther client, Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, as well as Barbara Hutton (who preferred tigers). Special displays pay tribute to Maria Félix, who is said to have brought live baby crocodiles into the Cartier shop to illustrate her commission. The jeweled result is on display.
Also shown are more familiar pieces, such as the Halo tiara, which the Duchess of Cambridge wore on her wedding day in 2011. The crown was originally commissioned in 1936 by the Duke of York, the future King George IV of England. So opulent is Cartier’s display that, by the time you catch Grace Kelly’s practically perfect 10.47-carat diamond engagement ring, it seems like the most demure piece in the world.
There’s more to Moscow’s Red Square than the Kremlin, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and Lenin’s tomb—for more than a century, it’s been home to GUM (short for Gosudarstvennyi Universalnyi Magasin, or Main Universal Store in English), Russia’s gigantic three-level, glass-domed department store, which celebrated its 120th anniversary last night.
GUM has had a long and often starry line of admirers over its century-plus in business. Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky bought their Patek Philippe watches there. It has survived closures (and opponents, like Stalin, who reportedly hated it), but has always come back. Ten years ago, Bosco di Ciliegi took over the monumental store and restored GUM’s nearly 300,000 square feet to its nineteenth-century splendor. That 19th century splendor is now home to some very 21st century luxury brands, including Dior, Hermès, Giorgio Armani, and Louis Vuitton. Tiffany & Co. is set to arrive next year.
Much of the media coverage has centered on the fate of the giant Vuitton trunk that the label erected out in the Red Square, where the brand was planning to house its Soul of Travel exhibition. After protests from the Kremlin, it is now being dismantled and removed. (Vuitton plans to hold the exhibition elsewhere as soon as possible.) But the political brouhaha didn’t dampen GUM’s birthday mood. The retail center set up a rustic outdoor Christmas fair and staged a period costume party on its Red Square ice rink, which recalled the days of the tsars. Guests sipped hot mulled wine in the snow and snacked on Russian dumplings and crepes with salmon. Revelers even had the chance to mint their own GUM anniversary coins before indulging in the mammoth birthday cake and taking to the ice where a brass band played.
As the fashion on offer in Moscow remains alarmingly pricey due to Russia’s notably high import tax, the best luxury bet at GUM may be the store’s legendary ice cream. Despite the frigid temperatures, there were hordes of people waiting in line for some of the frozen treats. As Winston Churchill once put it, “You cannot defeat a nation that enjoys ice cream at minus-40 degrees C.”
“I am an interiors geek—I have been slightly obsessed with homes since childhood, and that’s why this project just came naturally to me,” said creative director and now author Rob Meyers on the eve of his book launch. The tome in question is Behind Closed Doors, which catalogs images of twenty-five creative people’s homes, with a twist: They were all taken by the creatives themselves.
Olivier Theyskens, Nicola Formichetti, Courtney Love, Marc Quinn, and Gary Card are among those who participated in Meyers’ first book, which was five years in the making. “I worked with all these crazy talented people and I thought, Hey, I wonder what their homes look like,” said Meyers, whose résumé includes stints with Arena Homme+, POP, Wallpaper*, World of Interiors, and Nylon. “I gave them all disposable cameras and asked them to take pictures of their fave bits in their homes,” said the author of his subjects. “And amazingly, they came through. The cameras came back fully loaded.”
Jeremy Scott’s incredible eighties post-Memphis furniture pieces (above, top) and surreal Ronald McDonald collection; Martha Stewart’s bank of fridges, jars of spatulas, and bowls of eggs; and Courtney Love’s assortment of wedding cake figurines (above, bottom), which includes a pic of her own wedding topper with Kurt Cobain, are just a few of the images included in Meyers’ book. But he insists that this is not what you think: “It’s not like these people have been papped or violated in any way. These pictures are not at all intrusive because [the participants] took the pictures of their homes themselves, and showed as much or as little as they wanted. This comes from their hearts.”
Priced at $29.95, Behind Closed Doors will be available from Rizzoli in March 2014.
Last week, i-D rolled out its eye-popping new Web site, i-d.co. Having launched with a collaborative M.I.A. x Kenzo music video, the iconic magazine’s new online home will offer full-bleed imagery, quirky videos starring personalities such as Rick Owens, Lily McMenamy, Sky Ferreira, and more, and, soon, an interactive social-media component. The Web venture, which was feted at a veritable runway rave in New York last night, is a decidedly high-tech move for the publication, which, founded by Terry Jones in 1980, earned cult status because of its gritty fanzine approach to documenting London’s creative culture. Of course, it also helped that, early in their careers, photographers such as Nick Knight, Mario Testino, and Juergen Teller shot for the publication, and Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and even Madonna winked for its covers in their youth.
The site is thanks in part to Vice—the forward-thinking, in-your-face, Brooklyn-based media company that acquired i-D last December. “Vice’s whole push was to take i-D into the digital realm, which it wasn’t. We had a Web site, but it’s nothing like what we have now,” offered i-D editor Holly Shackleton. “Vice has been incredibly respectful. They haven’t been involved in our editorial choices,” she added. “They’ve just given us the digital know-how and business sense to start something new and launch the site.” More developments are on the horizon. i-D will soon open an office here in New York, and Jones, who’s been with the publication for the past thirty-three years, will take a notable step back. “He’ll always be on the masthead as founder,” offered Shackleton, stressing that while he’ll still be somewhat involved, he’s looking to spend more time with his family.
The Web site’s launch party in West Chelsea was a fitting display of fresh, edgy clothes and pioneering technology. In partnership with Samsung, the magazine flew over three of London’s hottest new talents—Ryan LO, Claire Barrow, and Ashley Williams (all Fashion East alums)—and had them present their collections in a holographic show. It was one-part IRL models (including Hanne Gaby Odiele), one-part virtual projections. Audience members (M.I.A. among them) could hardly tell who was real and who was simulated as the catwalkers danced amid computer-generated acid rain and floating gemstones. The crowd bounced and, at some points, fist-pumped to the EDM runway tunes. And even though partygoers were sipping champagne, the event exuded the underground cool that made i-D a force in the first place. “i-D has always been a global fashion community, and we hope the new site will encourage that,” said Shackleton. “We wanted to introduce these young British talents to a New York audience. They’re all future stars, without a doubt.”
Take a look at i-D‘s new online digs at www.i-d.vice.com.