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Mannequins Are The Subject Of Ralph Pucci's New Exhibition

Architectural Digest - February 2015

Architectural Digest Architectural Digest

To Ralph Pucci, a mannequin is no mere dummy. “It’s an art form—it’s sculpture,” declares the New York design impresario and gallerist, pictured here at his Manhattan showroom with a troupe of fetching examples. Decades ago, Pucci transformed his family’s mannequin-repair business into a creative lab of sorts, collaborating with such tastemakers as Andrée Putman, Anna Sui, and Ruben Toledo to conceive statuesque, boundary-pushing models, even as he was growing his remarkable furniture gallery. From March 31 to August 30, dozens of the figures will be on view at Manhattan’s Museum of Arts and Design in “Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin,” the first museum exhibition to survey this unique series. Works range from anatomically realistic—a gilded body produced in concert with Diane von Furstenberg, for instance—to boldly abstracted, as in the case of a totemic statue by Philippe Starck. “Ralph has experimented with so many styles, responding to so many cultural trends,” says the show’s curator, Lowery Stokes Sims, who likens each form to a sign of the times. That was exactly Pucci’s intent. As the designer puts it: “We’ve captured moments.”

By Samuel Cochran