In conjunction with Marc Jacobs new limited-edition Stephen Sprouse collection for Louis Vuitton, the downtown New York gallery Deitch Project has been transformed into a realisation of Sprouse’s futuristic rock'n'roll vision.
The exhibition was originally an idea of Sprouse’s, before his premature death in 2004. His friends Paige Powell and Kim Hastreiter revived the idea, which eventually evolved into a full retrospective of his creative achievements.
The ground floor of the gallery is dedicated to his fashion designs. His asymmetric mesh dresses, techno graffiti-covered short suits and safety-pin cocktail dresses adorn florescent mannequins in front of huge paintings of his most iconic images, including stacks of loudspeakers and Sid Vicious with his trousers down.
Downstairs there’s a glow in the dark room that displays walls of Sprouse’s sketched designs, head shots and numerous incarnations of Iggy Pop on a crucifix, while upstairs is dedicated to his much-lauded 2001 collaboration with Louis Vuitton. Television screens display his catwalk shows amongst the LV vanity cases, bags and weekend satchels while a sofa chair covered with the words “Less is More” sits below a framed pair of long, white leather gloves.
Sprouse was one of the first to develop upon Andy Warhol’s aesthetic of merging fashion, art and music and he made many friends on the New York scene, and he captured many of those moments spent with the likes of Debbie Harry and Anthony Kiedis on Polaroid. These are displayed on an entire wall that’s just as striking up close as it is from far away.
This exhibition is a great way to see Stephen Sprouse’s work and helps one to fully appreciate the impact he has made on the worlds of art and fashion. The exhibition is accompanied by The Stephen Sprouse Book, by Roger and Mauricio Padilha, which is available now.
January 9th – February 28th at the Deitch Project Gallery, 18 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013