The opening of “The Architecture of Indifference” last Thursday at Ralph Pucci’s Gallery 9 brought together the worlds of fashion and design in the manner that only this showroom can. The event launched a new line of mannequins from the company called “Guy,” with sultry poses suggesting last call at a bar in Buenos Aires. Any doubt as to Pucci’s inspiration for this collection was put to rest by the a tango performed by Walter Perez and Leonardo Sardella, who ambidextrously shifted roles in dancing backwards. The diversion almost threatened to distract from the fiber-based designs of Dana Barnes, but, of course, that’s nearly impossible to do.
Barnes’s work looks as though it might comfortably function as furniture or floorcovering, particularly the felt swathed innertubes and rugs, but they perform well as sculptural pieces or as stand-alone works of art. One particular fiber wall installation sweeps twenty three feet across a gallery wall at sixteen feet high. The catalog notes that piece is “conceived with the idea of creating textural soft walls in large scale for architectural spaces.”