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Group Exhibition

Diane Von Furstenberg: Journey of a Dress

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Press Release

  • Diane von Furstenberg: Journey of a Dress

    Pace Beijing is pleased to announce an exhibition of portraits of designer, muse, collector, and icon Diane von Furstenberg by some of the most celebrated artists of the past four decades, along with a retrospective of DVF fashion spanning the last forty years. Featuring portraits by artists including Andy Warhol, Francesco Clemente, and Helmut Newton, as well as new works by major contemporary Chinese artists, Diane von Furstenberg: Journey of a Dress will be the first exhibition at Pace Beijing to include Western art since Encounters, the gallery’s 2008 inaugural show, which juxtaposed portraits by Western and Chinese artists. Diane von Furstenberg: Journey of a Dress will be on view at Pace Beijing, located in the 798 District of the Chinese capital, from April 2 through May 14, 2011.

    The exhibition will feature new portraits of Diane von Furstenberg by four leading figures in Chinese contemporary artists—conceptual artist Zhang Huan, photographer Hai Bo, painter Li Songsong, and multimedia artist Yi Zhou—resulting in a dialogue that brings the narrative of Diane’s ongoing collaborations with visual artists into the global age of the twenty-first century. Zhang Huan, Hai Bo and Li Songsong have previously been the subjects of solo shows at Pace Beijing. Pace Beijing was the first American art gallery to open in the Chinese capital and is among the largest privately-owned galleries in the world, with 25,000 square-feet of exhibition space. Press Contacts Jennifer Joy / Sarah Goulet jjoy / 212.421.8987 Diane von Furstenberg: Journey of a Dress will feature a custom-made entrance by Francesco Clemente, fusing maps of New York and Beijing. The exhibition installation will be designed by Bill Katz, who was also the architect for Pace’s fourth and newest gallery space at 510 West 25th Street in New York. “China is the cradle of our civilization and has always inspired me tremendously. I first visited in the 1980s, and subsequent trips left a great impression on me. It is an honor to now engage with the country’s art community,” said von Furstenberg. “China is a major part of our future, and its art is already some of the most exciting being made worldwide. I am delighted to be a part of this exhibition at Pace Beijing.” In addition to spanning four decades of portraiture, The Journey of a Dress tells the story of the remarkable life, career, and fashion designs of Diane von Furstenberg. Arranged by decade, the exhibition begins with the original DVF wrap dress from 1973, a piece of clothing so revolutionary that it landed the 29 year-old designer on the cover of Newsweek. The dress has remained a staple of women’s wardrobes since its introduction and the designs that followed over the next four decades will be paired with paintings and photographs by celebrated artists including Mario Testino and François- Marie Banier.

    The exhibition will include over 60 vintage and contemporary dresses from Diane’s personal archives along with letters, photographs and ephemera that evoke specific moments in Diane’s history—from a Francesco Scavullo photo from the height of the disco era at Studio 54 to the Obama family’s 2009 Christmas portrait by Annie Leibovitz featuring First Lady Michelle Obama in the very same DVF wrap dress that began the story. The works of art created specifically for this exhibition are the first portraits of Diane by Chinese artists. Zhang Huan (b. 1965) will create three ash paintingsa labor-intensive process using ashes collected from Buddhist temples in Shanghai and then sorted into piles of different colors and applied to canvasof an American flag, a Chinese flag, and a portrait of Diane inspired by fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh’s photograph of her for the October 2009 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Li Songsong (b. 1973), known for his thick impasto paintings, will render the designer’s likeness in an oil portrait based on a photograph that appeared on the cover of Interview magazine in March 1977. Hai Bo (b. 1962) recently photographed Diane at his studio in the outskirts of Beijing. Mulitmedia installation artist Yi Zhou will create an original video work inspired by Diane for the exhibition.


Portraits by Chuck Close and Zhang Huan of designer, muse, collector and icon Diane von Furstenberg are now on view in a Los Angeles retrospective of DVF fashion. The exhibition marks the 40th anniversary of the iconic wrap dress and follows Pace Beijing's presentation of Diane von Furstenburg: Journey of a Dress three years ago. Read more from W Magazine here. For more details about the exhibition, click here.

Just days before Diane von Furstenberg was scheduled to have a warts-and-all photo taken by renowned artist Chuck Close, she suffered a skiing accident that left her with a broken nose and dark bruises suffusing her trademark cheekbones. But six weeks later, despite some residual swelling, von Furstenberg strode into the photography studio for her proverbial close-up. The clock was ticking, as the photograph was the last to be taken for “Diane von Furstenberg: Journey of a Dress,” her upcoming e