Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo
Closes Dec. 25
Whatever the motivations behind it, the synergy of luxury brands and art is definitely a good thing for art and its enthusiasts. In the case of Espace Louis Vuitton, the venue atop the luxury goods company’s flagship store in Omotesando, this translates into a beautiful art space in a good location, and a stream of support for artists who, I suspect, are selected more on aesthetic merit than on ability to shock the public or question traditional conventions. In other words, expect a lot of nice-looking art.
The second exhibition at the new venue, which opened in January this year, certainly bears this out. New York-based artist Alyson Shotz, who has already decorated Vuitton’s Kobe store, produces ethereal artworks that endeavor to express and reveal unseen elements such as gravity, geometrical patterns and the nature of space and light in aesthetically pleasing ways.
The present show, “Geometry of Light,” named after its main piece, presents a selection of five works that make the most of the built-in features of the penthouse gallery, which itself can be described as more of a glass cube than a white one.
The title piece involves hundreds of Fresnel lens discs hanging on wires across the exhibition space. This is the type of ridged lens that was originally designed for use in lighthouses, but has now been scaled down so that you can get it in sheets or as relatively flat discs. This assemblage reflects and refracts the light entering the gallery, enhancing what is already a luminous space. There are also sculptures made from strips of laser-cut dichroic acrylic, which, as the name suggests, is able to give off more than one color. As you walk around these sculptures or as the natural lighting from outside changes, the spectrum is constantly shuffled.
With exhibitions like this, we can now enter luxury-brand stores without any pressure to buy, which oddly may be just what the likes of Louis Vuitton want.
Espace Louis Vuitton is on the 7th floor of the Louis Vuitton Omotesando Building in Shibuya-ku; admission is free; open daily 12 noon-8 p.m. For more information, visit www.espacelouisvuittontokyo.com.