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Helmut Lang portrait by Elfie Semotan-Kippenberger, courtesy of HL-ART

Since leaving the fashion industry a decade ago, Helmut Lang has transitioned to the art world, working from his Long Island estate on a series of sculptures. WSJ. Magazine exclusively reveals in its February issue that Lang’s work will debut on January 8 at Manhattan’s Sperone Westwater Gallery in his first major art show.

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Helmut Lang, Untitled, a 2012 wall-mounted sculpture, courtesy of HL-ART

In his interview, which is now available online, Lang talks about destroying thousands of items from his fashion archive, embracing his lack of formal artistic training, and the creative process he applies to his latest projects.

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POLE POSITION. A series of Helmut Lang’s sculptures—which are made from resin, pigment and shredded pieces of his fashion archive—rest against the wall of his studio. Courtesy of HL-ART

Lang is not trained in the fine arts. He says, “It’s actually liberating because you are not defined by the restrictions being taught, so you are just more free. »

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Helmut Lang, MINIMAL WORK. Courtesy of HL-ART

In Lang’s view, his lack of formal artistic training is an asset. « It’s actually liberating because you are not defined by the restrictions being taught, so you are just more free, » he says.

When I feel I have  done everything I could for the piece, I am ready to hand it over, » Lang says of creating artwork. « I do it for myself, but it is supposed to go public.”

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Helmut Lang, MINIMAL WORK. Courtesy of HL-ART

« I wanted to make something out of common materials, » says Lang of his most recent sculptures, which incorporate cardboard, string and tape.

The February issue of WSJ. Magazine hits newsstands on January 24.

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Sculptures by designer Helmut Lang in his Long Island studio. Courtesy of HL-ART

Read more at WSJ. Magazine

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