You know him as the overlord of modern gothic fashion. But the much anticipated exhibition Rick Owens: Furniture at West Hollywood’s MOCA Pacific Design Center looks at his creations not meant for the body. The work presented include recent furniture, a new group of large scale sculptures, video and installations – alongside a selection of works by the late artist and musician Steven Parrino, whom the Paris-based American designer admired.
Owens launched his eponymous clothing label in Los Angeles in 1994, and has consistently drawn influence for both his fashion collections and his sculptural furniture from a vast array of art historical sources, which span modernist design, brutalist architecture, monochrome painting, minimal art, and avant-garde dance. His radical and spectacular runway shows function as a form of performance art, and often call into question preconceived and culturally constructed notions of beauty promoted by the very fashion industry in which he works.
But since 2007 Owens has applied a punk and anarchist sensibility to furniture design as well, creating stark and elegant forms out of marble, alabaster, bronze, ox bone, leather and plywood. And in addition to displaying works in Owens’ signature materials, the exhibition showcases the artist’s first foray into foam, rock crystal and concrete.
The show is produced by Michèle Lamy, Owens’ wife, muse “fairy witch” inspiration.