Louis Vuitton rotated the art at its Fifth Avenue flagship this week and celebrated its new look over dinner and drinks on Thursday night. Out is Olafur Eliasson’s “You See Me,” which had resided at the store since 2006 (the piece will be relocated to the house’s Rodeo Drive store in Los Angeles); in is French artist Xavier Veilhan’s “Mobile.” As its title very aptly suggests, the piece, which had recently been installed on a slightly grander scale at Versaille, consists of a large mobile of purple globes and now hangs from the store’s ceiling.
“It’s interesting to put the art in another situation,” Veilhan explained from a third-floor balcony that overlooked the piece, Champagne glass in hand.
This story first appeared in the December 20, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“They’re looking for something else and they find something else,” the artist said of the shoppers who will encounter the piece. “I also like the fact that there are certain ambiguities, that you almost don’t know if it’s part of the display. It’s not the same impact as a show in a museum or gallery, but it’s a perfect location. Fifth [Avenue] and 57th [Street] is not bad.”
Following a cocktail reception in the store, guests took a short stroll to the LVMH building’s Magic Room, where Veilhan sat for an interview with Dia Art Foundation director Philippe Vergne as part of the luxury house’s ongoing “Art Talks” series. On hand for the discussion, and ensuing dinner prepared by Daniel Boulud, were Cecilia Dean, Peter Marino and Louis Vuitton chairman and chief executive officer Yves Carcelle. Earlier in the night, the executive explained the company’s interest in holding such exhibits in its stores.
“The product is important, is key, but the environment is too,” Carcelle said. “Anything that can bring more emotion in the store for us is important. We think that, really, art changes life. When you put art somewhere, people behave differently.”