Art & Jewelry Mingle at Barneys Madison Avenue

Do you take your fashion with a spot of culture on the side? Fabulous—you’ve come to the right place.

Perched above the cases of gleaming jewels on the newly renovated first floor of the Barneys New York Madison Avenue flagship, you’ll find a work of art in a different vein: a site-specific installation created by designer-turned-artist Helmut Lang.

(Lang’s first solo exhibition of sculpture was presented at the Kestnergesellschaft in Hanover, Germany, in 2008, and in 2011, he was among the artists commissioned to create works for “Commercial Break,” a major project for the 54th Venice Biennale.)

The piece that Barneys commissioned, “Untitled,” is made of enamel, tar, sheepskin, plywood and steel—though you wouldn’t know it from first glance. Lang has long been fascinated with the material history of objects, and he’s known to use materials that have previously existed in other incarnations. Sheepskin is the latest material to undergo this treatment; it is hardly recognizable here, having been hardened into a rough topography without any intimations of warmth or comfort.

Click on the images below to enlarge them, or—better yet—visit the Madison Avenue flagship to see the piece in person.

Photographs by Tom Sibley.