Grey Area x Helmut Lang

Expanding its mission to explore the “grey area” between art/design and commerce, the aptly named Grey Area—founded by Manish Vora and Kyle DeWoody—teamed up with Helmut Lang to curate an exhibition of sculptures by Shelter Serra and “Helmut Lang Goods” or limited-edition gift items, by Shelter and fellow artists Emilie Clark, James DeWoody, Debra Folz, Andrea Galvani, Andrea Longacre-White and Michelle Lopez.

For the exhibition, titled “Engine Blocks,” Shelter (nephew of fellow American sculptor Richard Serra) cast five vintage car engines from the ’60s and ’70s in the signature silicone he has formerly used to mold everyday objects ranging from Hermès Birkin bags to beer cans. On the eve of the New York opening, Grey Area and Helmut Lang invited Dossier photographer Kate Owen to document the installation in process and also provided us with a bit of insight into the partnership.

Erin Dixon: Tell us about the mission or impetus behind the collaboration.

Grey Area: The Helmut Lang collaboration was an opportunity to introduce art to a broader audience. An important part of Grey Area’s mission is to create accessible ways of experiencing and owning art, and melding creative worlds. Helmut Lang, its owner and creative directors share this vision. [They are] constantly finding ways to incorporate art into their designs. It was a match made in heaven.

Erin: How and why did you select Shelter and the artists you did participate in the collaboration?

Grey Area: We worked with the team at Helmut Lang to find artists whose work visually and conceptually connected with the brand. Shelter’s work really resonated with the team. Every choice of color, engine, product went through both Grey Area and Helmut Lang, putting together a visually and conceptually compelling installation and collection of art-inspired goods [which are available in store and online at].

Above image: (from left) Shelter Serra, Kyle DeWoody and colleague. Images by Kate Owen

Engine Blocks is on display now through January 7, 2013 at Helmut Lang stores in New York, London and Los Angeles. “Helmut Lang Goods” are available both in-store and online at

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