A few years after Helmut Lang quit fashion in 2005, he put his storied first career to bed unceremoniously, by taking what remained of his archives, which had been destroyed by a fire in his Manhattan storage space, and putting the clothes through an industrial shredder—some 6,000 to 8,000 pieces all told. (The haute horror!) Some of that fashionable pulp has been repurposed in Lang’s first major gallery show as an artist, now on view at Sperone Westwater on the Lower East Side. As was the case with his work as a designer, Lang’s sculptures elevate unexpected materials—cardboard, string, tape, the detritus of a past vocation—to higher forms.
“Helmut Lang” is on view through February 21, 2015, at New York’s Sperone Westwater, 257 Bowery.