"Rick Owens: Furniture" opened at MOCA Pacific Design Center late last year to much fanfare. Owen's status as a superstar fashion designer attracted many notable celebrities to the opening – from Kanye West to FKA Twigs. The immersive dramatically-lit exhibtion features sculpture, furniture, installations, projections and wall works and is the first US museum show of Rick Owens furniture and sculpture.
Despite Owens' name being stamped all over the exhibit it is his wife and business-partner Michele Lamy who steals the show. Her looming image appears in an ethereal projection above the brutalist furniture and sculptures. But her presence in the exhibition is deeper than the surface. It was actually Lamy who was the primary creative force behind the show. "It's her thing" Owens said over the phone, a closer examination of the wall text and exhibition brochure reveals the same. The MOCA show is the culmination of years of collaborative experimentation in furniture design done out of Rick and Michele's atelier in Paris and workshop in LA.
The various materials in the show are unified by Lamy and Owens' brutalist sensiblity. The concrete is cracked, chunky seams runs through the camel fur and the foam is crudely assembled with black duct tape. But the objects nevertheless have a luxurious feel – similar to Owen's iconic "grunge-luxe" fashion designs. The line between form and function is blurred almost beyond recognition in the exhibition, one is never sure whether a particular piece might be categorized as furniture or sculpture.
One of the more striking moments in the show is the inclution of artwork by Steven Parrino, whose slashed, torn and twisted minimal wall works provide art-historical context to the exhibition. For Rick and Michele, the MOCA show solidifies their status as some of the most innovative cultural producers working today. It's a must see.
"Rick Owens: Furniture" runs through April 2nd, 2017 at MOCA Pacific Design Center.