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“Antonio’s World” Antonio Lopez Exhibition

Submitted by on Wednesday, 11 March 2009No Comment

The Suzanne Geiss Company, 76 Grand St bet Greene & Wooster Sts, NYC, 212 625 8130, through October 20th, Antonio’s World, a survey of the work of Antonio Lopez (1943-1987),  showcases three decades of the artist’s polymathic creative output, including never before seen drawings, photographs, and ephemera. Lopez’s seminal works, which adorned the pages of Vogue, The New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily, and Interview throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s,
remain a powerful source of inspiration, galvanizing contemporary visual culture through a variety of disciplines including fine art, digital media, and fashion.

Beginning in the 1960’s, Lopez redefined fashion imagery with his portrayal of the “Antonio
Girls,” comprised most notably of Pat Cleveland, Jane Forth, Jerry Hall, Grace Jones, and Jessica Lange. His infectiously charismatic persona and Pygmalion’s eye for raw beauty led Antonio, and the equally magnetic
art director, Juan Ramos, to discover and transform these aspiring models into paragons of glamour.
Inspired by his muses, contemporary culture, and a diverse range of historical and artistic movements, Lopez
forged a diverse body of work rendered in pencil, ink, charcoal, watercolor, and film. His ability to convey
the human form – and the couture that ornamented it- with flourish and mastery inspired the creation of
drawings, ranging from classical, surrealistic, abstract, pop, and urban. Lopez’s distinctive method,
which synthesized dedicated study and intrinsic virtuosity, established him as one of the most influential
tastemakers of the age.

Antonio’s multifaceted approach to his art notoriously seeped into the nightlife persona he cultivated while
working with Karl Lagerfeld in Paris from 1969 to the mid 1970’s. The celebrity coterie that surrounded him
during his Paris years became the subjects of his drawings and photographs. The iconic Instamatics and
Polaroids of Divine, Paloma Picasso, Yves Saint Laurent, among many others remain powerful works of
photography and important cultural records of a time of exuberant creative productivity and consumption. By
the time Lopez returned to New York City in the late 1970’s, he was a celebrated name inspiring designers
such as Norma Kamali and Anna Sui. By the 1980’s, he led commercial campaigns for prestigious brands such as
YSL, Valentino, Missoni, and Versace.

Antonio’s World, the first comprehensive exhibition of Lopez’s work in New York since 2001, will present a
selection of Antonio’s most iconic pieces created from the 1960’s through his death in 1987. The work will
be displayed in an immersive installation conceptualized by Rafael de Cárdenas, founder of the progressive
design firm Architecture at Large. Before opening his firm, Cárdenas spent three years working as a men’s
collection designer at Calvin Klein and, in 2011, he was appointed to Baccarat’s inaugural Board of
Advisors. His fashion background remains an influence in his approach to design.

The first complete Antonio Lopez monograph, Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex, and Disco, will be released by
Rizzoli New York in conjunction with the exhibition. Written by Roger Padilha and Mauricio Padilha, with a
forward by André Leon Talley and epilogue by Anna Sui, the monograph will showcase Lopez’s iconic works,
including never before seen Instamatic photos, Polaroids, letters, and ephemera. Likewise, Twin Palms
Publishers has recently released Instamatics: Antonio Lopez, a survey of Lopez’s Polaroids, co-edited by
Paul Caranicas and Jack Woody.
ABOUT ANTONIO LOPEZ
Antonio Lopez was born in Utuado, Puerto Rico in 1943. He moved to New York City as a small child and
studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology before dropping out to pursue an internship at Women’s Wear
Daily, launching a flourishing career in the art and fashion industries. His work has been exhibited at The
Fashion Institute of Technology (1988), The Louvre (1994), Royal College of Art, London (1997), the
Smithsonian Institute (2001), Design Museum London (2010), Society of Illustrators in association with the
Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation (2011), and recently at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs Palais du Louvre and
the Victoria & Albert Museum (2011-2012). Previous publications include, Antonio’s Girls (Thames & Hudson
1982), Antonio’s Tales from the Thousand & One Nights (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1985), Antonio, 60, 70, 80:
Three Decades in Style by Juan Ramos (Schirmer/Mosel 1995), Antonio Lopez: Instamatics (Arena Editions
2002), and Antonio’s People by Paul Caranicas (Thames & Hudson 2004)

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