Media Archive: Decorative Arts and Design

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Groundbreaking Contemporary Fashion Exhibition comes to CMOA

Works from 15 stunning collections by designer Iris van Herpen

Contact: Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Fashion designer Iris van Herpen (Dutch, b. 1984) marries precision and meticulous handcraft, inventive technological solutions, and a striking, futuristic aesthetic. Organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Groninger Museum, The Netherlands, Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion gathers seven years of van Herpen’s original haute couture for this exhibition: her first North American tour. Opening February 4 at Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA), it presents works from 15 of her collections across a bewildering range of materials and techniques. This Pittsburgh presentation is its easternmost US venue.

Media Preview Event – Happy Hour Drinks
Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion at CMOA
Thursday, February 2, 2017, 6–8 p.m.
Photo and interview opportunities

Meet the curatorial team behind this extraordinary show, and be the first to enjoy the installations.

Please contact Jonathan Gaugler to RSVP.

Visit our website to browse related events and programming.

High resolution images are available.

Exhibition Highlights

Iris van Herpen, "Refinery Smoke," Dress, July 2008, Untreated woven metal gauze and cow leather, Groninger Museum, 2012.0196, Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios

Iris van Herpen, “Refinery Smoke,” Dress, July 2008, Untreated woven metal gauze and cow leather, Groninger Museum, 2012.0196, Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios

Refinery Smoke Collection
July 2008

Refinery Smoke is based on the astonishing beauty, the ambiguity, and the elusiveness of industrial smoke. Seen from a distance, smoke provides a fascinating and dynamic spectacle: at times it seems to be alive, but it also harbors something sinister and can even be toxic.

Van Herpen has manifested smoke’s flowing texture in a metal gauze that she had specially woven for the Refinery Smoke collection. This unusual, stiff material consists of innumerable fine, metal threads, appearing soft and light. The dresses started as silver gray but have oxidized overtime to a reddish brown, reflecting the dual nature of industrial smoke.

 

Iris van Herpen, "Radiation Invasion, Dress," September 2009, Faux leather, gold foil, cotton, and tulle, Groninger Museum, 2012.0201, Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios

Iris van Herpen, “Radiation Invasion, Dress,” September 2009, Faux leather, gold foil, cotton, and tulle, Groninger Museum, 2012.0201, Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios

Radiation Invasion collection
September 2009

Iris van Herpen considers the flows of digital information that surround us at every moment and in every place, typically accessed through smartphones and other devices.  What would we do with our daily overdose of electromagnetic waves and digital information streams if we could see them with our own eyes?

In Radiation Invasion, the wearer seems to be surrounded by a complex of wavy rays, flickering patterns, vibrating particles, and reflecting pleats. Here van Herpen imagines how it might look if we could detect and manipulate the radiation that surrounds us. This collection is the start of a theme that pervades her work: the role of technology and its relationship to the body.

 

 

Iris van Herpen, "Hybrid Holism," Dress, July 2012 3-D-printed UV-curable polymer In collaboration with Julia Koerner and Materialise, High Museum of Art, Supported by the Friends of Iris van Herpen, 2015.170 Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios

Iris van Herpen, “Hybrid Holism,” Dress, July 2012 3-D-printed UV-curable polymer In collaboration with Julia Koerner and Materialise, High Museum of Art, Supported by the Friends of Iris van Herpen, 2015.170 Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios

Hybrid Holism collection
July 2012

Canadian architect and artist Philip Beesley’s work Hylozoic Ground provided the inspiration for Iris van Herpen’s collection Hybrid Holism. Hylozoism is the ancient belief that all matter is in some sense alive. Beesley’s seemingly living environment breathes, shifts, and moves in response to the people walking through it, touching it, and sensing it.

Intrigued by the possibility of constructing semi-living systems, van Herpen imagined a new form of fashion where designs can grow, evolve, and even exist independently from us. In a culture where obsolete designs are often discarded, van Herpen proposes that clothes and objects might instead evolve and transform over time. Combining diligent craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology, including 3-D printing, van Herpen translated this futuristic vision into a collection that is highly complex and diverse in terms of shape, structure, and material.

 

Iris van Herpen, "Magnetic Motion," Dress, September 2014, 3-D-printed transparent photopolymer and stereolithography resin, High Museum of Art, Purchase with funds from the Decorative Arts Acquisition Trust and through prior acquisitions, 2015.82 Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios

Iris van Herpen, “Magnetic Motion,” Dress, September 2014, 3-D-printed transparent photopolymer and stereolithography resin, High Museum of Art, Purchase with funds from the Decorative Arts Acquisition Trust and through prior acquisitions, 2015.82 Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios

Magnetic Motion collection
September 2014

Early in 2014, Iris van Herpen and Canadian architect Philip Beesley visited CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) to see the Large Hadron Collider, which has a magnetic field that is 100,000 times more powerful than Earth’s. Van Herpen was fascinated by the interplay of magnetic forces, saying: “I find beauty in the continual shaping of chaos, which clearly embodies the primordial power of nature’s performance.”

Van Herpen’s layered, three-dimensional structures—which combine innovative techniques like 3-D printing with intricate handwork—explore the dynamic forces of attraction and repulsion. Van Herpen collaborated with Beesley to create luminous, three-dimensional textiles comprising tiny webs of laser-cut acrylic that echo the body’s movements.

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion is co-organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Groninger Museum, The Netherlands.

The exhibition was curated by Sarah Schleuning, High Museum of Art, and Mark Wilson and Sue-an van der Zijpp, Groninger Museum.

The CMOA presentation of Iris Van Herpen: Transforming Fashion is organized by Rachel Delphia, The Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Curator of Decorative Arts and Design.

Support
Support for this exhibition has generously been provided by Creative Industries Fund NL.

Carnegie Museum of Art’s presentation of Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion is supported by The Coby Foundation, Ltd., PNC, Vivian and Bill Benter, and UPMC and UPMC Health Plan.

General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

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CMOA Hosts Exhibition of Groundbreaking Fashion Designer

Contact: Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion
February 4–May 1, 2017
Carnegie Museum of Art

Fashion designer Iris van Herpen (Dutch, b. 1984) marries precision and meticulous handcraft, inventive technological solutions, and a striking, futuristic aesthetic. Organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and Groninger Museum, The Netherlands, Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion gathers seven years of van Herpen’s original haute couture for this exhibition: her first North American tour. Opening February 4 at Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA), it presents 15 of her collections across a bewildering range of materials and techniques. This Pittsburgh presentation is its easternmost US venue.

refinery-smoke-dress

Iris van Herpen, “Refinery Smoke” Dress, July 2008, Untreated woven metal gauze and cow leather, Groninger Museum, 2012.0196 Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios

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Chair-14

CMOA & Pittsburgh Team Up for Parking Chair Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Pittsburgh, PA…Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the City of Pittsburgh to make the parking chair fashionable. The museum is lending hundreds of chairs from its decorative arts and design collection to the initiative.

Eros Chair by Phillipe Starck, Photo: Bryan Conley for CMOA

Eros Chair by Philippe Starck saves a prime spot for Nonna, Photo: Bryan Conley for CMOA

In a prepared statement, Mayor William Peduto said, “This beautiful city deserves beautiful parking chairs. We are thrilled to offer Pittsburgh’s most exquisite collection of chairs to save your brother’s parking spot while he makes a beer run.”

The chairs span over two centuries of craftsmanship and design representing the dizzying array of forms and styles. All serving the same purpose, that of the humble chair.

chair-shop

Few would dare park in a spot occupied by an 1820 English armchair from CMOA’s collection!

“Our chair collection is world class,” said Rachel Delphia, CMOA’s curator of decorative arts and design. “These precious, often one-of-a-kind objects will look stunning on curbs throughout Pittsburgh’s streets.” She added, “Please take care when parking near them. Please.”

Qualifying Pittsburgh residents can apply on the museum’s website. Simply provide your name, address, and a photograph of your current parking chair, and museum experts will determine whether your request qualifies. If you do, the City of Pittsburgh will deliver these priceless works of art to your door!

Artist's rendering: John Henry Belter's rosewood Slipper Chair, 1855, commands this North Oakland parking spot

John Henry Belter’s rosewood Slipper Chair, 1855, commands this North Oakland parking spot

To view a selection of available chairs, browse the selections below, or visit our chair wall at the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries of Decorative Arts and Design!

CMOA's Chair Wall in the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries showcases dozens of designs

CMOA’s Chair Wall in the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries showcases dozens of designs. Notice the absence of cars.

“It’s a true testament to the timeless character of our chairs,” said Lynn Zelevansky, CMOA’s Henry J. Heinz II Director, “that no one has tried to park by our chair wall since its 2009 installation. That’s something Pittsburgh can be proud of.”

Carnegie Museum of Art
Carnegie Museum of Art enriches people’s lives through art. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our world-class collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. We have a lot of chairs in our collection. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. Learn more: call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.

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Preview Silver to Steel

 Contact: Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Preview Silver to Steel
Exhibition reveals the untold story of a preeminent mid-century designer

“His ‘Normandie’ pitcher is one of the prime examples of Art Deco streamlining…. [He] designed a blender for Waring that soars like the Chrysler Building.” The New York Times

Silver to Steel: The Modern Designs of Peter Muller-Munk
November 21, 2015–April 11, 2016

Press Preview
Friday, November 20, 2015
9:30 a.m.–11:00 a.m.

Please contact Jonathan Gaugler to RSVP.
gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Encounter the bold, stylish allure of Peter Muller-Munk’s most successful designs in Silver to Steel at Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA). The industrial designer and his eponymous firm designed stylish, modern, highly-functional products—cookware, appliances, tools, and devices—during America’s booming mid-century years. For scores of national clients, his designs tapped new markets, refreshed century-old brands, and employed materials and methods, new and old, to refine production and improve user experiences.

CASE STUDIES

Griswold: Aluminum Pots for a Cast Iron King

The Symbol line of cast aluminum cookware (porcelain-enameled steel lids), 1962, was designed by Peter Muller-Munk Associates to help client Griswold, a leader in cast iron cookware since 1865, meet the demands of the contemporary hostess for informal yet stylish oven-to-table entertaining. Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of Jewel Stern; Photo: Dallas Museum of Art

The Symbol line of cast aluminum cookware (porcelain-enameled steel lids), 1962, was designed by Peter Muller-Munk Associates to help client Griswold, a leader in cast iron cookware since 1865, meet the demands of the contemporary hostess for informal yet stylish oven-to-table entertaining. Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of Jewel Stern; Photo: Dallas Museum of Art

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3 silver bowls header

Peter Muller-Munk’s remarkable modern silver

Contact: Jonathan Gaugler | gauglerj@cmoa.org | 412.688.8690 / 412.216.7909

Peter Muller-Munk, a young German émigré craftsman, became one of the most celebrated modern silversmiths of the 1920s and 1930s. Opening November 21, 2015, Silver to Steel: The Modern Designs of Peter Muller-Munk features the most complete museum presentation to date of his remarkable hand-wrought works. In 1926, the 22-year-old Muller-Munk sailed to New York and immediately secured a position as a silversmith at Tiffany & Co. Within a year, he struck out on his own, establishing a studio in Greenwich Village, and began producing sophisticated works for the luxury market. By 1929 his silver had entered the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Newark Museum and had been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Silver to Steel reunites these revered objects with masterworks from private collections in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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