Wednesday, April 1, 2015

RALPH PUCCI: The Art of the Mannequin

reporter/photographer: Miguel Dominguez
text: MAD Museum

MAD Director Glenn Adamson with Ralph, both wearing red ties

On March 30th, Ralph Pucci had an exhibit of his sculptural talent in the creation of mannequins at The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)

Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin will be the first museum exhibition to explore the work of renowned New York-based designer Ralph Pucci, who is widely regarded for his innovative approach to the familiar form of the mannequin. Having collaborated with luminaries such as Diane von Furstenberg, Patrick Naggar, AndrĂ©e Putman, Kenny Scharf, Anna Sui, Isabel and Ruben Toledo and Christy Turlington, Pucci’s mannequins not only expand the parameters of this ubiquitous sculptural form, but reflect major cultural trends of the past three decades.

As Pucci was building his business in the 1970s, the notion of the “super model”—the living mannequin with a personality—emerged. Pucci captured this catalytic moment in his work, finding inspiration from sources as varied as Greek and Roman statues and the performance costumes of the New York Dolls. Pucci personified the previously anonymous form in new and challenging ways, creating visions of physical beauty that were more specific, empowered, and diverse than the fashion industry had previously allowed. More than commercial armatures or sculptural forms, his mannequins became agents of change in our attitudes to the body, to fashion, and to individual identity.

Published interior designer Amy Lau, of Holiday House fame, with Vladimir

The Art of the Mannequin will include over 30 of Pucci’s most important mannequins, as well as an in gallery recreation of his sculpture studio.

Organized by MAD’s Chief Curator Lowery Stokes Sims and Barbara Paris Gifford, Curatorial Assistant and project manager, the exhibition will be accompanied by a publication that includes a foreword by Margaret Russell, editor in chief of Architectural Digest, an essay by art historian Emily M. Orr on the history of mannequins and an interview with Pucci by Jake Yuzna, Director of Public Programs at MAD.

Brana Dane in ochre with Olga and Serge Strosberg to her left

Carmen D'Alessio and friend

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