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Exploration of Seminal Designer's Vision, With More than 400 Objects Filling the Frank Lloyd Wright Rotunda and Tower Galleries
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street)
New York City
Dates: October 20, 2000-January 17, 2001
Press Preview: Thursday, October 19, 9 AM-noon
Remarks begin at 10:30 AM
Exhibition Designed by Acclaimed Visual and Theatrical Artist Robert Wilson
Giorgio Armani, a major exhibition that explores the career of the contemporary fashion designer, opens at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on October 20, and remains on view through January 17, 2001. The exhibition, which features approximately 400 garments, will offer a thematic look at Armani and his development over the past 25 years. This exhibition will chart important aspects of Armani's artistic contribution and examine his cultural and sociological impact in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
This exhibition is made possible by In Style.
"Giorgio Armani has long been recognized as one of the most influential designers of the twentieth century," noted Thomas Krens, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. "This exhibition demonstrates the museum's continuing commitment to an investigation of culture in all its manifestations."
"Fashion is at the heart of human expression and is a mirror that reflects society and its culture," said Mr. Armani. "It is very humbling to know that the Guggenheim has chosen my designs to stand alongside the work of some of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, many of whom have been such a strong inspiration for me."
"We are delighted to be the sponsor of the Giorgio Armani exhibit," said Martha Nelson, Managing Editor, In Style magazine. "The way we dress today, both men and women, is deeply influenced by Mr. Armani's work over the last 25 years, which is always elegant and modern."
Along with Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, Armani is recognized as one of the most influential and iconic designers of the twentieth century. He has been universally credited with both radically changing the rules of fashion in our time and creating a timeless vision of modern dress. By removing excess ornament and translating traditional sportswear looks into business and evening wear, Armani developed the contemporary casual style that defines the modern wardrobe.
Clothes from various periods that express significant motifs will be presented in thematic groupings. One cluster, for example, will emphasize the pivotal impact of Armani's designs on the modern, androgynous look. Highlights of this section include the designer's groundbreaking deconstructed jacket, which evolved into both soft, sensual suits for men and masculinized jackets for women. Other narrative groupings examine the influence of Eastern and North African cultures on Armani's work, as well as the designer's emphasis on the "non-color" palette, which has contributed to his reputation for elegant subtlety. Armani has become strongly associated with the film industry and, in particular, with the Academy Awards; the exhibition will include many of the evening ensembles he has created for Oscar ceremonies. Overall, the exhibition will provide an animated picture of Armani's creations and their significance within the cultural landscape.
More than 400 garments are presented in a kaleidoscopic display, evoking the richly layered narrative of Armani's oeuvre. Original sketches, photographs, and video presentations of historical material will round out this portrait, charting the evolution of Armani's designs from their early status as ideas to their carefully orchestrated presentation as finished work.
The installation has been designed by acclaimed visual artist and theater director Robert Wilson. Through a dramatic combination of elements–including floating mannequins, mud-like floor and wall coverings, translucent scrims, and radically different color and lighting schemes at each ramp level–Wilson will transform the museum, providing a spectacular environment in which to experience the multifaceted aspects of Armani's creations.
Mr. Wilson has had retrospective exhibitions of his work at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. Additionally, he has mounted installations at the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Venice Biennale, and the Rotunda della Besana in Milan.
The exhibition has been co-curated by Germano Celant, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Harold Koda, Curator-in-Charge at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Susan Cross, Assistant Curator, and Karol Vail, Curatorial Assistant. Celant has organized a number of exhibitions that express his interest in the fusion of artistic languages, including The Italian Metamorphosis, 1943-1968 (1994), which featured an extensive costume section, and Art/Fashion (1997), which examined the dialogue between the two disciplines. Koda has co-organized numerous significant costume exhibitions, including Haute Couture (1995) and Christian Dior (1996) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and distributed through Harry N. Abrams, Inc. The catalogue will place Armani in the context of fashion history, highlight his innovative and trend-setting designs, and will examine his compelling influence on popular culture. In addition to the curators, contributors will include Donald Albrecht, Natalia Aspesi, Marshall Blonsky, Patrick McCarthy, Suzy Menkes, Caroline Rennolds Millbank, Martin Scorsese and Jay Cocks, Valerie Steele, and Ingrid Sischy. A collection of new images by prominent fashion photographers celebrating 25 years of Armani will be featured throughout the catalogue.
Giorgio Armani will open at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spring 2001. Other international locations are to be announced.
The following programs are held at the Guggenheim Museum and are free with museum admission, unless otherwise noted. For updated information regarding ticketed programs, contact the Box Office at (212) 423-3587, or go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Tuesday, November 7, at 7 PM, a special screening of American Gigolo (1980) will be presented in the Peter B. Lewis Theater. It will by introduced by the film's director, Paul Schrader. Starring Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton, this film highlighted clothing created by Armani, and helped establish his reputation as the premiere Hollywood designer. Cocktails will follow in the Frank Lloyd Wright Rotunda. $20 for adults ($15 for members, students, and seniors).
"The Shadow Warrior: Armani and the Japanese Aesthetic" On Thursday, December 7, at 6:30 PM, at Japan Society (333 East 47th Street), Harold Koda, co-curator of Giorgio Armani, will discuss the confluence of East and West manifested in Armani's minimalist aesthetic. Koda will also relate Armani's designs to Japanese textile traditions and sartorial elements. This event has been produced as a collaboration between the Guggenheim Museum and the Japan Society. $10 for general public, $8 for Guggenheim Museum and the Japan Society members, $5 for students. To purchase/reserve tickets, please call (212) 752-3015.
Tours and Lectures:
The Guggenheim Museum Film and Media department will present a special series of lectures in conjunction with Giorgio Armani. On Tuesday, November 28, at 7 PM, Donald Albrecht, Adjunct Curator for Special Projects at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, and Valerie Steele, Curator at the Museum at F.I.T., will discuss "Armani, Film, and Fashion," tracing cinematic influences on the designer. $10 ($7 for members, seniors, and students). On Tuesdays, December 19, January 9, and January 16, at 7 PM, "Fashioning the Body: Clothing in Cinema," a series of three lectures on the role of clothing design in the art of film, will be held in the Peter B. Lewis Theater. $10 ($7 for members, seniors, and students).
"A Curatorial Eye" presents curators offering guided tours of the exhibitions they helped create. Tours will be conducted on Friday, November 17 at 2 PM by Karole Vail, Curatorial Assistant, and on Friday, December 8, at 2 PM by Susan Cross, Assistant Curator. Each tour is limited to 20 people, with reservations taken at the information desk 30 minutes prior to the start of the program. Hour-long docent tours of Giorgio Armani will be given from October 29 through January 10, Sunday through Wednesday and Friday at 12 PM and 3 PM.
On Sunday, November 5, at noon, Armani Fashion: Work, Play, and Personality will introduce children and their adult companions to the exhibition Giorgio Armani and will explore how clothing can be used to describe our daily activities. Noontime Slide Talk: On Friday, November 10, at noon, gallery lecturer Pearl Erlich will present "Ready to Wear: Tailoring the Women's Suit," examining Armani's role in redefining the female silhouette.
The audio tour for Giorgio Armani will be produced by Acoustiguide and narrated by acclaimed actor Samuel L. Jackson.
From October 20 through January 13, the Guggenheim Museum presents the WorldBeat Jazz series. Renowned jazz artists and their ensembles perform music in the museum's Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Rotunda, Fridays and Saturdays, from 5 to 8 PM, and are free with museum admission. WorldBeat Jazz is sponsored by The Village Voice and WBGO/88.3 FM.
Guggenheim and CityPass Program:
CityPass, a visitor program which offers admission to six of New York's most celebrated cultural attractions for a discounted package price, now features the Guggenheim Museum. CityPass may be purchased at the Guggenheim. The cost is $32 for adults, $21.75 for seniors, $24 for youth (12-17). Admission and Museum Hours:
Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the museum or in advance through www.ticketweb.com. The museum is open Sunday to Wednesday, 9 AM to 6 PM, and Friday and Saturday, 9 AM to 8 PM The museum is closed on Thursday.
September 25, 2000
For Press Information: Betsy Ennis, Senior Publicist