FENDI triclinium installation at Design Miami references historical portraits of reclining women

FENDI presents ‘Triclinium’ by Lukas Gschwandtner

for this year Design Miami, FENDI invited Vienna-based artist Lukas Gschwandtner to create the ‘Triclinium’ installation, which refers to portraits of historical women lying on furniture. The exhibition presents a selection of canvas covered lounge chairs and wearable woven sculptures that reflect Gschwandtner’s connection to ancient Roman history. Italian luxury home found. The artist sees her new work as an opportunity to engage with boundaries and experiences, and presents it as a repeat of the ‘Pillow Portraits’ series of case studies.

Installation consists of various chair designs and also includes a disassembled FENDI Peekaboo handbag lying on the floor to reveal its inner structure. The piece considers the size and dimensions of the human body, as well as its interaction with space, furniture and objects in historical and contemporary contexts. Through the work, the Austrian artist explores the body language evoked by a piece of furniture and how this suggestion is interrupted and redesigned by the use of furniture.


A view from the ‘Triclinium’ installation at Design Miami | image courtesy of James Harris (also title image)

The link between Fendi and LUKAS Gschwandtner

While working on this piece, Lukas Gschwandtner discovered a personal connection between FENDI’s historical relationship with leather production and his own leatherworking history. At the same time, Viennese artist He realized that there was a material connection between them. Italian brand The use of Calico, a heavy, plain woven textile made from unbleached cotton. Commonly used for toiles, a sample garment made to test a pattern, this fabric had already established itself as the main motif in Gschwandtner’s practice, allowing him to focus on pure form.

In the work, the canvas is seen as underwear and additional layers of textiles and materials as ‘dresses’ that allow the artist to play with proportion and visual weight. When donning Pillow Portraits, the wearer’s body takes the pose of a corresponding work of art, such as Antonio Canova’s Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix, Titian’s Venus of Urbino and the Sleeping Ariadne, which is also evoked in Giorgio de Chirico’s painting. Solitude, against the backdrop of arches reminiscent of FENDI headquarters in the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana.

FENDI 'triclinium' installation at Design Miami references historical portraits of reclining women
setup consists of various chair designs and a disassembled FENDI Peekaboo handbag l image © designboom

guests immersed in space and texture

Gschwandtner’s canvas sculptures draw simplified forms from paintings and works of art, abstracting historical, class and gender contexts, creating space for personal interpretation. The final piece to complete the installation at Design Miami (find more here) is a reinterpreted FENDI Peekaboo handbag in which the artist fills each compartment of the bag with plaster before cutting the original material to reveal the internal structure printed on the mold. The empty space between the various scattered elements of the exhibition leaves room for free browsing, allowing guests to immerse themselves in space and texture.

In Triclinium, Gschwandtner creates both a subconscious and a physical space of conversation with the work, in dialogue with himself and others. He reflects on how museums are experienced more often and how ancient surfaces are read in connection with a contemporary trend of documentation and dissemination.

FENDI 'triclinium' installation at Design Miami references historical portraits of reclining women
exhibition presents a selection of wearable canvas sculptures | image © designboom

FENDI's 'triclinium' installation at design miami references portraits of reclining women
guests are encouraged to immerse themselves in space and texture exploration | image © designboom

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