A Provocative Easter Egg at the Dolder Grand

This year, Jani Leinonen, a world-renowned artist, is responsible for the impressive floral Easter egg in the Steinhalle of the Dolder Grand. The installation «Seed in Their Pocket» can be enjoyed alongside it, whereby Leinonen implemented themes of current social issues for both the installation and the Easter egg design. The Finn has a long-standing relationship with the traditional Zurich hotel, which made this art coup possible.

Jani and the finished floral egg installation.

He is one of the most sought-after artists in the world and his works always captures the pulse of the times. The Finnish artist has recently completed a particularly special project for the Dolder Grand – he created the design for the annual 2.5-meter-high Easter egg, which can be enjoyed at the main entrance.

Decorated with over 12,000 carnations by the in-house florist team of four ladies over several days of craftsmanship, it bears the incomparable signature of the artist.

«When the Dolder Grand approached me with this Easter project, I was amazed by the fact that it was made of real flowers. These colourful and beautiful organisms are of great cultural importance,» says Leinonen.

Inside the Dolder Grand on display: «Chapel of Remorse» by Jani Leinonen.

120 famous works of art, including Dalí, Murakami and Tinguely, enhance the ambiance of the Dolder Grand. The Finnish artist’s works have been exhibited at the hotel since 2009, and there are currently six pieces on display. Getting the 44-year-old artist to design the Easter egg this year was a major coup, not least because Jani’s unmistakable style and his unique ability to create pieces that reflect societal issues in a provocative way have made him famous across the globe.

«I’m not particularly religious, but I live in a Christian culture and grew up with stories from the Bible,» says Leinonen.

For him, the story of Easter is one of the most fascinating. For Jani, Jesus’ last words on the cross are the most important aspect: Forgive them, for they know not what they do.

«These words are as relevant today as they ever were, as he says these words to the soldiers who are blindly following orders from their superiors.»

He therefore decided to bring across this message on the Easter egg with just a single word: FORGIVE.

The «Seeds in Their Pockets» installation is also on display alongside the egg. It comprises dried flowers the artist collected in war zones, each with a tag bearing the name of the country in which Leinonen found it. On the day Russia invaded the Ukraine, the Finn read a newspaper article and wrote a poem. It is the story of a Ukrainian woman who meets a Russian soldier and tells him to put sunflower seeds in his pocket so that flowers grow at the place where he dies. «For me, this is a really strong image of war. I discovered that flowers grow on many of the battlefields in these war-torn countries, and it’s mostly the national flowers of the countries

With lovely Christina (NewInZurich) and Laura (PR/TICULAR) at the lunch.

I had the pleasure to explore Jani’s works and the making of the installation life at the Dolder Grand this week, followed by a lovely luncheon on the terrace in the presence of the artist.

The egg installation will be on display until Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Dolder Grand and © Sandra Bauknecht
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Coming of Age

«Coming of Age», in loving memory and honour of Virgil Abloh, is unveiled at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France. An extension of the original global «Coming of Age» exhibition, the arrival in Paris will play out over a two-week period, from 13th April, at the Frank Gehry-designed space.

In 2019, Virgil Abloh curated a group exhibition titled «Coming of Age» in Los Angeles, California. Presented in creative partnership with Little Big Man Gallery, the exhibition centred around the concept, diversities and complexities of male youth and boyhood – traversing class, race, social economics, subcultures, isolation, and camaraderie. «Coming of Age» travelled to Paris, Beijing, Milan, New York, Munich, Tokyo and Seoul, allowing students, artists, and local communities access to a DIY «copy center», to build and create their own zines with their favourite artworks from the exhibition.

A physical embodiment and homage to Virgil Abloh’s world, «Coming of Age» in Paris regroups, reimagines and expands this original exhibition and its narrative story. A tribute to a hands-on creator, the exhibition encourages activities and participation, combining physical events with digital activations. Visitors become participants, alongside artists, photographers, musicians, directors, and animators. Diverse but united, the participants serve as an illustration of Virgil Abloh’s mission and achievement to democratise the dream embodied by Louis Vuitton, rendering it a domain open to the aspirations of people from all walks of life, all ages, all genders and all races.

The exhibition is open to the public, free of charge, from 13th to 27th April 2022.

Address:
Fondation Louis Vuitton
8 Av. du Mahatma Gandhi
75116 Paris

Opening hours:
Monday to Sunday
12pm to 7pm

Registration for tickets: www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton

Prada To Open Prada Mode Moscow

On 12 and 13 of November, Prada will present the sixth iteration of Prada Mode at the Levenson Mansion in Moscow featuring an installation by artist Damien Hirst. A traveling social club with a focus on contemporary culture, Prada Mode provides members with a unique art experience along with music, dining, and conversations.

Pharmacy exterior © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012

For Prada Mode Moscow, Damien Hirst will transform the historic building with his installation, Pharmacy. Hirst created Pharmacy restaurant in Notting Hill, London in 1998, six years after the inaugural installation of the same name at the Cohen Gallery New York.

Pharmacy was conceived as a fully functioning restaurant and bar in an installation of Hirst’s floor-to-ceiling medicine cabinets, and specially made butterfly paintings. Hirst designed furniture, architectural details such as a huge molecular model in its window, light boxes, and a wallpaper design taken from a catalogue of prescription medicine.

© Tate, London 2012 © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012

In Moscow, Hirst will present the third iteration of Pharmacy restaurant, the second being installed at his Newport Street Gallery, London. It is fitting for this to be made especially for Prada Mode: the artist’s long-time friend Miuccia Prada designed the staff uniforms for the original restaurant.

«I’m so excited to be invited by Miuccia to recreate Pharmacy for Prada Mode in Moscow,» said the artist. «I’m pulling out all of the stops to make this amazing, and the four floors of the historic Levenson building will provide the perfect place for it. I can’t wait to get going! I’ve always thought great restaurants can be art, and Pharmacy is a living breathing artwork, best filled with people and art as one.»

One of the most extravagant houses in Moscow… Levenson Mansion.

The Levenson Mansion is a private residence on Moscow’s Patriarch Ponds. The Art Nouveau landmark was designed by architect Fyodor Shechtel in 1900 for the A.A. Levenson Skoroprinting Company, an official purveyor of his majesty Emperor Nicholas II’s Imperial Court.

Last year, Fondazione Prada and Damien Hirst came together in aid of Save The Children.

Prada Mode Moscow will welcome members to access the club at any time over the course of the two-day project to participate in morning and afternoon panels and discussions as well as nightly events featuring exhilarating performances and live music, sampling specialty cocktails and dining throughout. Pharmacy installation will then open to the public from November 14th to 20th 2021.

LEVENSON MANSION
9, TRYOKHPRUDNY LANE
MOSCOW
NOV 12–13 2021

Update on October 21, 2021: Due to today’s news, please be informed that the Prada Mode Moscow event is now postponed. The new dates will be announced soon.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Prada and © Damian First if not stated otherwise

Gucci Unveils the Gucci Circolo Berlin

Gucci’s creative energy is finding expression in the Gucci Circolo Berlin: a temporary space in the heart of Berlin where people can gather to enjoy an immersive experience and discover the House collections and codes.

Located in a historic building on the panoramic Landwehr Canal in Berlin-Kreuzberg, Gucci Circolo Berlin is an experiential space to be explored as a narrative journey through the various chapters of the Aria collection, designed by Alessandro Michele and presented in April 2021.
The journey begins with «Gucci 100» and ends with the presentation of «The Hacker Project» through a succession of settings that reflect and enhance the uniqueness of the Maison’s aesthetic.


On their journey through the Gucci Circolo Berlin, visitors have the chance to walk down the runway of the Aria fashion show, recreated at the entrance. The adventure continues in the Listening Lounge, celebrating Gucci’s long-standing connection with music. Here, surrounded by displays packed with vinyls, guests can embark on a sound journey inspired by the songs of some of the friends of the House, including Harry Styles, Sir Elton John, Florence Welch, Achille Lauro, and many others.

The Listening Lounge also offers the opportunity to download a playlist compiled to mark Gucci’s centenary. In the photo booth next to the Listening Lounge, visitors can have their photo taken with visual effects inspired by the patterns of the Gucci 100 collection.
At the end of the journey, guests can relax in the café area on Gucci Décor chairs, surrounded by precious floral arrangements.

Gucci Circolo Berlin features a full calendar of events until the beginning of December. It is housed in a historic building, now owned by Christian Boros, and home to his communications agency BOROS, the BOROS Foundation for contemporary art and the international art book publisher DISTANZ. Originally built in 1878 as the first sewage pumping station of Berlin, the building was formerly used by the senate as a lapidarium, a place for the storage and preservation of old stone monuments.

Location: Hallesches Ufer 78, 10963, Berlin, Germany
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11:00 – 20:00, upon appointment

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Gucci
@Gucci #GucciCircoloBerlin

Met Gala 2021

The Met Gala is typically held on the first Monday in May, but this year, the event was postponed due to COVID-19 and falls right in the middle of fashion month. As Iris Apfel once said: «When we were small children, we all played dress-up and everybody had a good time, so why stop?». This is how Met Gala is for me, a huge party for everyone who loves to dress up and has never stop to indulge in fashion.

Ensemble, Christopher John Rogers (American, born 1993), F/W 2020; Courtesy Christopher John Rogers. Photo: HAPPYMONDAY / Courtesy of the Costume Institute

Also referred to as «fashion’s biggest night out,» the Met Gala is a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This year, the Costume Institute will host its first two-part exhibition, on the theme of American fashion, during 2021 and 2022. Part one, «In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,» will open in the Anna Wintour Costume Center on September 18, 2021, and will remain on display when «In America: An Anthology of Fashion,» opens on May 5, 2022 in the period rooms of the American Wing. Both shows will run through September 5, 2022.

Below, you will find my personal selection of outfits, that I loved or didn’t like and hope you will enjoy it.

LoL, Sandra

Fashion that makes us dream – my favorite look of the gala: Iman in Harris Reed

Cracking the codes: Kim Kardashian in Balenciaga

Rihanna in Balenciaga Couture and Maria Tash jewelry and A$AP Rocky in ERL

Wild West: Jennifer Lopez in Ralph Lauren

Fitting the American theme of the upcoming exhibitions perfectly: Helen Lasichanh and Pharrell Williams in CHANEL

Sporting the American flag: Debbie Harry in and with Zac Posen

Trio infernal with an American «Statue of Liberty» touch: Sienna Miller in Gucci, Hamish Bowles in Thom Browne, and Emily Blunt in Miu Miu

Feathers were also a trending theme: Serena Williams in Gucci

One of my favorites last night: Zoë Kravitz in Saint Laurent

And another one of my favorite looks: Kendall Jenner in Givenchy

Julia Garner in Stella McCartney

Hailee Steinfeld in Iris Van Herpen

Donatella Versace in Versace

Whoopi Goldberg, Pierpaolo Piccioli and Carey Mulligan in Valentino

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello in Michael Kors Collection

Literally eye-catching: Hunter Schafer in Prada

Gigi Hadid in Prada

A great look, but somehow not for her: Diane Kruger in Prabal Gurung and Jimmy Choo shoes

Beautiful: Emily Ratajkowski in Vera Wang

Mmh… definitely not my favorite look: Vera Wang in Vera Wang

Playing dress-up: Erykah Badu in Thom Browne

Making a statement: Cara Delevingne in Christian Dior

Flowers were a huge theme: Lili Reinhart in Christian Siriano

LOVE: Irina Shayk in Moschino

YouTuber Nikkie Tutorials (Nikkie de Jager), who came out as transgender last year, paid homage to activist and drag queen Marsha P. Johnson with this «pay it no mind» sash.

Anna Wintour wore a floral Oscar de la Renta gown.

Stunning in Oscar de la RentaKarlie Kloss and designer Wes Gordon

Billie Eilish in Oscar de la Renta. Her bombshell gown symbolizes her activism for animal rights. According to The New York Times, she agreed to work with Oscar de la Renta on the condition that the designers would no longer use fur in their pieces.

Dan Levy in Loewe

Designer Virgil Abloh in Off-White

And here comes the golden king in his amazing outfit that revealed different layers: Lil Nas X in Versace

Photos: via Vogue.com

One Night at The Museum

Last Tuesday, I enjoyed a night at the museum with Veuve Cliquot for the unique closing dinner of the retrospective of exceptional artist Yayoi Kusama at Gropius Bau in Berlin. On display in the entrance hall was the champagne house’s new, exciting collaboration with the Japanese artist who dressed the La Grande Dame 2012 Limited Edition in her signature patterns, the polka dotsAlso on display was Kusama’s artwork «My Heart that Blooms in the Darkness of the Night», a vibrant floral sculpture.

Among the guests from art and culture were German A-listers Iris Berben, Lea van Acken, Andreas Mühe, Christian and Karen Boros, William Fan, Franz Dinda, Hardy Krüger jr, Esther Perbandt, Johann König and many more.

German actress Iris Berben exploring the early years of the Kusama exhibition.

The evening started with a private guided tour through the amazing retrospective of Yayoi Kusama (92). From an upper class Japanese family that owned a seed nursery business, Yayoi Kusama grew up in a conservative environment. When she left school, and against her mother’s wishes, Yayoi decided to leave Japan, which she considered too small a country, and her family, where art as a career was not appreciated. Kusama left for the US, first Seattle, before settling in New York.

As a painter, sculptor, author, and performance artist, but also a filmmaker, writer, and a female artist of Asian origin in a predominantly male, Western art world, her audacity knew no bounds, as her controversial «happenings» showed. She soon gained recognition and her tenacity paid off: from the 1960s onwards she was one of the few female artists to make a living from her work.

Since her early years, the artist has experienced obsessions and hallucinations; she uses art as a sort of antidote for healing, a kind of self-medication. The canvases she covers with nets and dots have a dual effect; she demonstrates a mastery of repetition that at the same time reveals its infinite character; its overflow is liberating. Interesting to know is that Kusama was the first person in the 20th century to use this method of harnessing an individual’s potential for artistic expression and creativity for openly psychotherapeutic purposes. Today this has acquired the name «art therapy».

As a young artist, Kusama gained inspiration from plants and flowers, which she saw as a symbol of life, birth and regeneration. In later years, they became part of her figurative languages as positive symbols conveying vital energy and regeneration.

The flower is what led her to paint dots at the start of her career – the famous polka dots, which have become her signature. At her happenings in the late 1960s she covered her own and the participants’ bodies in these dots.

«Polka dots are a life, and the moon, the sun, and the stars are one of hundred of millions of polka dots. This is my grand philosophy. With peace from polka dots, I would like to deeply launch my longing for eternal love. Polka dots shall continue to proliferate and appeal to the people with my message.» – Yayoi Kusama

This message of hope and optimism has made her a much-loved figure who is avidly followed by a wide public. She was one of TIME magazine‘s 100 most influential people in the world in 2016 and is now a style icon. She has collaborated with countless brands; from couture (remember the fantastic collaboration with Louis Vuitton in 2012) to streetwear, Kusama’s name fascinates and inspires.

In honor of Madame Cliquot, Veuve Cliquot has commissioned Yayoi Kusama to create a joyful, original work celebrating the new vintage, La Grande Dame 2012. Two bold destinies, two innovative minds, two avantgardists who influenced their times.

With Petra Nagel, Managing Director Moët Hennessy Deutschland (LVMH)

Celebrating this magic encounter, we were invited outside after the tour to enjoy a champagne reception, followed by a wonderful vegetarian/vegan dinner with live performance accompanied by three amazing vintage champagnes; Veuve Cliquot La Grand Dame 2012, La Grand Dame Rosé 2006 and La Grand Dame 2008 Magnum.

A beautiful evening – thank you Veuve Cliquot for inviting me to Berlin, for these unforgettable memories and a message of hope and optimism.

I fully enjoyed the dinner thanks also to the lovely company of Karen Boros, Lea Van Acken and Hendrikje Kopp.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Franziska Krug/Getty Images for Veuve Clicquot, Agentur EVENTPRESS for Veuve Cliquot and © Sandra Bauknecht
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Weak in the Presence of Beauty

In the beginning of June, an amazing exhibition took place at Kunsthalle in Zurich and I was extremely bumped that I couldn’t go as the event took place for one day only. Originally a coffee table book, ‘weak in the presence of beauty’ is a photographic series by Swiss artist Walter Pfeiffer.

The exhibition captured the constants throughout Daniel Lee’s menswear collections at Bottega Veneta. Walter Pfeiffer continues to represent the fluidity of gender and sexuality, especially expressed with the male body.

Additional drawings from the artist, who had long worked as an illustrator before making a name as a photographer, complimented a curated edit of these photographic images. Friends and family showcased the best bits including Roberto Bolle, Trent Alexander Arnold, Timo & Janik Baumann, Pan Daijing and Fernando Cabral.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Walter Pfeiffer

Gucci Garden Archetypes

On the 100th anniversary of the founding of Gucci, comes to Florence Gucci Garden Archetypes, an immersive multimedia experience that explores and celebrates the House’s creative vision.

An archetype is the original form from which all copies are made, never able to be recreated in itself, and every Gucci campaign speaks of a unique and unrepeatable moment – expressing the spirit of each collection, while reflecting the inclusive philosophy, liberated and audacious of Creative Director Alessandro Michele.

From Tokyo to Los Angeles, and from Northern Soul to May 68, the exhibition features mythical ark-builders, intergalactic explorers, horses, dancers, angels, and aliens all making appearances in this expansive exploration of Alessandro Michele’s kaleidoscopic vision. Gucci Garden Archetypes delves into the multifarious inspirations from the music, art, travel and pop culture spheres that resonate through Gucci’s campaigns.

«I thought it was interesting to accompany people in these first six years of adventure, inviting them to cross the imaginary, the narrative, the unexpected, the glitter. So, I created a playground of emotions that are the same as in the campaigns, because they are the most explicit journey into my imagery,» says Alessandro Michele, curator of the exhibition.

Cutting-edge technology, elaborate hand-crafting and innovative interior design create a sequence of distinct, immersive worlds, designed by Archivio Personale, the design studio that has transformed Alessandro Michele’s vision into narrative spaces reflecting and enhancing the uniqueness of his aesthetics. Accessed via what appears to be a behind-the-scenes operations center, visitors first get a split-screen live view of the exhibition they are about to enter. Inside, a network of themed spaces and corridors bring the intricate world-building of 15 Gucci campaigns to life.

Gucci Beauty’s lipstick campaign for the ‘bold, bright and beautiful’ is transformed into a multi-screen extravaganza, in which we are dazzled from multiple angles by the now-famous smile belonging to punk singer Dani Miller that has overthrown beauty conventions in the cosmetic industry.

Viewers also enter the scented floral paradise of Gucci Bloom, a hidden imaginary garden becomes a place of freedom for the three stars of the campaign – actress Dakota Johnson, feminist artist and photographer Petra Collins, and actress, model and trans woman Hari Nef. Charismatic and unconventional, this trio collectively ushered in Alessandro Michele’s new, inclusive vision of modern femininity.

In one room, a circular projection creates the immersive sensation of being out ‘on the floor’ with the exuberant dancers of Pre-Fall 2017, with its pioneering casting of an all-black ensemble, in what Michele described as a ‘homage to the elegance of black culture’, by putting it in the foreground. This campaign responded to the need for a better representation of the Black community in the fashion industry.

Pre-Fall 2018’s homage to the Parisian youth of ‘May 68’ on the 50th anniversary is evoked by a graffitied stairway that connects the two floors of the space. For S/S 2018, interdisciplinary artist Ignasi Monreal created in almost 900 hours of painstaking work, a giant hand-painted mural that covers the walls and ceiling. Elsewhere, 150,000 shimmering sequins blanket the walls in a dazzling reimagining of F/W 2016 campaign, a trip through Tokyo, while a museum-style diorama provides a guide to the creatures, aliens and explorers of the F/W 2017 campaign’s trip to outer space.

The obsessive collections of F/W 2018 campaign fill one space from floor to ceiling, as visitors are surrounded with shelves stacked with thousands of cased butterflies, as well as hundreds of cuckoo clocks, colorful wigs and sneakers. Guests can also find themselves in the 80s nightclub bathroom of the Berlin-set S/S 2016 campaign, and behind the scenes in the sprawling modernist villa that hosted the Cruise 2020 campaign ‘party of the century’.

Visitors can even enter a mirrored labyrinth to go inside a stately home like the one at the heart of the Cruise 2016 campaign, take a trip through the breathtakingly world of Cruise 2019’s epic community of ark-builders, and ride on an LA subway carriage like the one that made an appearance back in the F/W 2015 campaign, the first by Alessandro Michele.

The Gucci Garden Archetypes catalog will be the continuation of this journey into the imagination of Alessandro Michele – a true inventory of the creativity on display and a collection of images and surprises, complemented by original texts by personalities of the cultural scene including art critic Achille Bonito Oliva, philosopher Emanuele Coccia, artist and researcher Anna Franceschini, curator Antwaun Sargent, and sustainability and culture advisor Shaway Yeh.

Coherently with Gucci’s explorations of the digital realms, a virtual tour will also be available online, giving the possibility to visit the exhibition. Stepping further down this path, envisioning dialogues melding physical and virtual environments, the House has once again partnered with the global online platform Roblox – bringing in their metaverse a captivating Gucci Garden shared experience that will open its doors on May 17, for two weeks only. As visitors explore this virtual gallery freely inspired by the Gucci campaigns exhibited, the digital avatars transform into mannequins absorbing elements of the exhibition, turning themselves into unique digital artworks.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Gucci

Galerie Gmurzynska’s Homage to Zaha Hadid

Dame Zaha Hadid passed away in Miami on March 31, 2016 at the age of 65. On the 5th anniversary of her death, Galerie Gmurzynska presents an immersive homage to the visionary architect.

The Great Utopia, The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915, 1932, 1992, © Galerie Gmurzynska

The shared interests between the gallery and Zaha Hadid for the Russian avant-garde fortuitously crossed paths in 1992 at the monumental exhibition «The Great Utopia,» at the Guggenheim Museum for which Zaha Hadid designed the rotunda – the first architect tasked with reimagining the Frank Lloyd Wright architectural icon. From early in her career, her peerless aesthetic was deeply inspired by Kazimir Malevich and the Suprematists, on whom she prepared her graduation thesis in 1976.

Zaha Hadid and Suprematism installation at Galerie Gmurzynska in 2010 (click here for a previous post).

The gallery’s active collaboration with Zaha Hadid from 2010 until her death began with the idea to again combine her knowledge of the Russian avant-garde with her architectural practice, which had advanced deeper since the Guggenheim exhibition. Thus, in 2010, the exhibition «Zaha Hadid and Suprematism» was held at Galerie Gmurzynska’s headquarters on Paradeplatz in Zurich. The exhibition and book, published together with Hatje Cantz, became a global event. This first collaboration with Zaha was followed by many other exhibition projects, including at Art Basel.

With Zaha Hadid in 2012 during a dinner at Art Basel when she signed the book for me (for the post click here). 

On the occasion of the important Malevich retrospective held in 2014 at Tate London the star architect was asked to take part in a long documentary about Malevich with the BBC. Part of this documentary included an interview with Galerie Gmurzynska CEO Mathias Rastorfer and Zaha Hadid about Malevich and the nature of architecture and art.

The final project completely planned by Zaha Hadid was again to show the dramatic development of her architecture in the context of another foundational modern master: Kurt Schwitters. The exhibition architecture was planned entirely by Hadid, and the selection of works by Schwitters was as well rigorously curated by her. Hadid unfortunately died before the opening of the show and left behind an architectural monument remaining unchanged in the Galerie Gmurzynska on Paradeplatz, open to the public.

The latest exhibition at Galerie Gmurzynska titled «Abstracting The Landscape» was conceived and created with the same team with whom the gallery planned and executed all Zaha Hadid exhibitions since 2010. It has been a fruitful and euphoric collaboration for all involved, for which Galerie Gmurzynska expresses its heartfelt gratitude to the entire Zaha Hadid design and archive team. In this spirit of long-term collaboration and the highest respect for her perpetual vision, historical projects with models and drawings, as well as sculptural objects realized since her passing have been individually selected to be integrated into a custom floor design displaying Hadid’s best traits. The exhibition also features site-specific objects, as well as never-before exhibited designs. It will be open until July 31, 2021.

I was able to shoot different looks inside the exhibition which presented me with an amazing backdrop. Stay tuned for all the posts coming up soon…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska, © David Biedert Photography

La Prairie x Niki de Saint Phalle

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, La Prairie announces lead patronage of Niki de Saint Phalle‘s most substantial U.S. retrospective at MoMA PS1 in New York.

On view from March 11 to September 6, 2021, Niki de Saint Phalle: Structures for Life will feature over 200 works created from the mid-1960s until the artis’s death, highlighting Saint Phalle’s interdisciplinary approach and engagement.

Niki de Saint Phalle. Californian Diary (Order and Chaos). 1994

La Prairie honours Niki de Saint Phalle’s audacious and visionary feminist spirit – her defiance of social norms and her willingness to break the codes both in her personal life and work. The work of Niki de Saint Phalle has a particular resonance for La Prairie as it was her striking use of cobalt blue that was the inspiration behind La Prairie’s iconic Skin Caviar Collection colour.

Niki de Saint Phalle. Flaçon de parfum. 1982

In 1982, Niki was developing her eponymous fragrance from her atelier in a shared design studio in
New York where La Prairie’s team would often engage in creative exchanges. When La Prairie
encountered Niki de Saint Phalle’s cobalt blue – her favourite colour that she describes «as the colour
of joy and luck» – the link became clear: only cobalt blue would do. A fortunate encounter that would
spark a bond with the House of La Prairie and seal it forever.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Collection

Just as Niki de Saint Phalle raised awareness on modernist, progressive views, La Prairie’s founder paved the way to pioneering discoveries. Dr. Paul Niehans was a dreamer, a seeker of beauty. Art was central to his science, central to his dream to hold time in his hand, central to his pioneering spirit. A spirit mirrored in Niki de Saint Phalle’s inner flame of audacity. She expressed a new femininity, one which stood in opposition to the conventional influences and values of society.

Niki de Saint Phalle working on the set for The Travelling Companion at her studio near Milly-la-Forêt. 1977.

Through her lifetime, Niki de Saint Phalle used her platform as an artist to bring attention to various issues advocating for women’s equality to provoke and trigger conversations – a legacy that today continues to inspire new generations of artists and women beyond. Niki de Saint Phalle also shaped art movements such as Nouveau Réalisme. As the only woman in the 1960s-founded group, she offered a unique perspective and proved her art was as innovative as her male counterparts.

Niki de Saint Phalle. La femme et L’oiseau fontaine. 1967–88

«Niki de Saint Phalle created artwork that explicitly rejected patriarchal values and artistic convention. Her Nanas confront Western standards of femininity and decorum: they are brash, ecstatic, and embrace sexuality. She created her Nanas at such a large scale specifically so that they could dominate – literally tower over – men. Saint Phalle was also an iconoclast in her personal style and way of life,» according to Ruba Katrib, Curator of the exhibition.

Last Night I had a dream, 1968-1988

This collaboration with the upcoming exhibition at MoMA PS1 in New York is an opportunity for the Swiss luxury house to enable the world to experience Saint Phalle’s revolutionary work. It is also an expansion of La Prairie’s support of art and culture by creating new connections with the world of art and its various representatives, whether emerging or established artists or cultural institutions. A commitment that continues to flourish and to build on the House’s existing partnerships with art fairs Art Basel and West Bund Art & Design and the iconic Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland.

More information at moma.org/ps1. I would love to see this exhibition and truly hope that we will be able to travel to the U.S. soon again.

LoL, Sandra

Niki de Saint Phalle with La Fontaine Stravinsky

Photos: Courtesy of La Prairie, © 2021 Niki Charitable Art Foundation
© Michiko Matsumoto, © Leonardo Bezzola Estate