Michael-Sailstorfer at work on his iron Lady Dior.

IRON LADY: The exhibition “Lady Dior as Seen By” opens to the general public in Berlin on June 12. The roving display, which kicked off in Shanghai in 2011 before heading off on a world tour that has included stops in Hong Kong, Milan, Tokyo and São Paulo, will be at the Michael Fuchs gallery in the German capital for just over two weeks.

The exhibition focuses on artistic interpretations of the Lady Dior handbag and the Fuchs gallery will be showing how 38 sculptors and 28 photographers from around the world saw the iconic accessory. Everywhere the Lady Dior show stops, new artists are also brought on board. In Berlin, it was the turn of Debora Mittelstaedt, Michael Sailstorfer and Tomislav Topic to offer their vision of the classic.

Fine arts photographer Mittelstaedt included the bag in a picture as part of a group hug. And Topic, who’s known for his colorful installations, gave the Lady Dior a graphic rainbow for content: 372 rods of lacquered stainless steel now rise out of the bag’s interior and offer viewers different patterns and color grids depending on which angle they’re looking at it from.

Tomislav Topic’s Lady Dior  Courtesy / Stefan Dotter

Prize-winning German sculptor Sailstorfer, who is well known for his wry, conceptual work with ordinary objects like car tires, popcorn machines and trees, told WWD why he was particularly pleased with his vision for Lady Dior. He cast the bag in iron and his version now weighs 33 kilograms. “It’s a tool,” he boasted.

His favorite moment arrived, he said, when his iron Lady Dior came back from the foundry. “I could see how well the piece worked in real life. It’s all about its heaviness,” Sailstorfer explained. “The next day we did a shoot with the [iron] bag in front of my studio in Berlin, which was fun as well. I threw the sculpture from a cherry picker and we documented the impact.”

The exhibition is open to all visitors between June 12 and 27 although the gallery is operating under some pandemic-related restrictions. The health crisis is also why it’s unclear which part of the world the traveling show will head to next, a spokesperson told WWD.