Adelle Lutz

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Adelle Lutz
Born (1948-11-13) November 13, 1948 (age 69)
Lakewood, Ohio, U.S.
Nationality American
David Byrne
(m. 1987; div. 2004)
Children 1

Adelle Lutz is an American actress, costume designer, performance artist and sculptor. She first gained acclaim for the imaginative outfits presented during the fashion show segment of David Byrne's film True Stories.

Currently living in Los Angeles, Lutz's works have been featured in both national and international exhibitions organized by Creative Time, the Met, Fashion Institute of Technology and the Victoria and Albert.

In 2002, London's Judith Clark Costume Gallery presented a career survey of her work.[1] Lutz's Ponytail Boot (2002), co-designed with Walter Steiger for a New Museum of Contemporary Art fundraiser, is in the Met collection.[2]



Lutz has acted in several films, including Silence of the Lambs, Wall Street, Beetlejuice, Something Wild, Until the End of the World, and Dead Funny. She played Aung Sun Suu Kyi in Beyond Rangoon.[3]

Art Exhibitions[edit]

Writing in the catalog accompanying Lutz's 2002 career survey, Harold Koda remarked how "Adelle Lutz's art and interventions are based on simple perceptual manipulations that yield unexpected, often unstable readings."[4] He claims that "her affinities have always cleaved to Duchamps rather than Dalì, with her sur-reality much more simply and directly achieved than the tortured imagery and treacherous libidinous juxtapositions to which surrealists typically fall prey."[4]

Lutz and David Byrne collaborated on several solo exhibitions, including "Glory! Success! Ecstasy!" (1998) at Aktionsforum Praterinsel, "Dressed Objects" (1999) at the Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis and "The Wedding Party" (2000) at Lipanje Puntin Artecontemporaneo in Trieste, IT.

One of Lutz's most renowned works is The Peace Piece (documented by Courtney Harmel and Sara Driver, amongst others). For this Creative Time supported performative action, which took place on March 21, 2003 (Persian New Years), six women wore black burkhas printed with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees statistics concerning war (90% of war casualties are civilians) and/or images of a full-term baby. Walking in metta meditation for twelve hours, they spread peace with every step, as they walked from the war memorial adjacent Staten Island Ferry, past the Stock Exchange, up Fifth Avenue, into Grand Central Station, through Rockefeller Center, ending in Times Square. Chashama showed video and sound documentation of Peace Piece in a storefront, whose window featured the six burkhas, confronting passersby during the "Imagine '04 Festival of Arts".[5]

Burka/Womb, the precursor to A Peace Piece, premiered in Lutz's career survey at Judith Clark Costume Gallery, and in 2003 it was included in exhibitions at New Museum of Contemporary Art, Tisch School of the Arts, Dance Theater Workshop and Cathedral of St. John the Divine. It represents the fashion year 2002 in Twenty Years of Style: The World According to Paper.[6]"

During the 1990s, Lutz's work was presented in group shows such as "42nd St. Art Project" (1993), organized by Creative Time;[7] "Bloom: Fashion's Spring Gardens" (1995) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; "Art, Design and Barbie" (1996) at the World Financial Center, "Red Windows" (1996) at Barneys New York, "Designed for Delight: Alternative Aspects of Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts" (1997) at fr:Musée des arts décoratifs de Montréal, and traveled to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.[8] Writing in the accompanying catalog, Lenore Newman and Jan L. Spak note that "Adelle Lutz's Ivy Suit explores the idea of camouflaging oneself into a uniquely twentieth-century environment -the suburbs."[9] Annie Leibovitz's images of David Bryne sporting Lutz's ivy suit and several other True Stories' costumes, shot for Vanity Fair, fast became iconic images.

During the aughties, Lutz's work was included in "Rock Style" (2000) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which traveled to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Barbican Art Gallery, "Cache Cache Camouflage" (2002) at the Musées de design et d'arts appliqués contemporain in Lausanne, "Under/Covered" (2002) at sv:Färgfabriken, Stockholm, "Hair Stories" (2002) at Adam Baumgold Gallery, "Embroidered Stories and Knitted Tales" (2006) at the Bedford Gallery in the Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, "Camouflage" (2007) at The Imperial War Museum, "Teleport Färgfabriken" (2008) at Färgfabriken Norr, Östersund, and "Hair: Human Hair in Fashion and Art" (2016) at Centraal Museum.

Paper Art Critic Carlo McCormick sums up Lutz's approach, "Hers is an art that might literally wear its heart on its sleeve, not merely as some avant-garde trope, but as an intimate embrace of humanism, in consumer culture. Sensual without being vulgar, her art offers a body politic devoid of ideological boundaries, the finesse without the fetish, desire without determination."[10]

Lutz's work has been featured in several art books: Disruptive Pattern Material: An Encyclopedia of Camouflage,[11] Twenty Years of Style: The World According to Paper,[6] Who Cares,[12] Creative Time: The Book,[13] Camouflage,[14] Because Dreaming is Best Done in Public: Creative Time in Public Spaces,[15] and Paternalia: An Unconventional History of Polka-Dots, Stripes, Plaids, Camouflage and other Graphic Patterns.[16]

Notable sculptures include Urban Camouflage (1986), One Size Fits All (1993) and Corporate Adam and Eve (2001).

Costume Design- Film[edit]

Lutz designed costumes for True Stories, Making Mr. Right, Checking Out, Lulu on the Bridge and The Inner Life of Martin Frost. Reflecting on True Stories thirty years later, Meredith Borders analyzes its fashion show: "[T]his fashion show is extraordinary. Sure the clothes are heinous, but there are ideas here."[17]

Costume Design- Theater[edit]

In 1989, she designed a contemporary wardrobe for Jesus of Nazareth's "American Tour," as captured in Harper's.[18] In addition to producing concert costumes for David Byrne (1984 and 1997) and Michael Stipe ("Green" tour), Lutz has designed costumes for theater pieces directed by Joanne Akalitis (1988 and 1996), Ben Levit (2000),[19] David Gordon (1995 and 1996) and Alison Summers (1996 and 1997). Lutz designed the costumes for Gordon's presentation of Punch and Judy Get Divorced at American Repertory Theater.<.[20]

Costume Design- Music Videos[edit]

Talking Heads videos: Burning Down the House (1983); This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) (1983); Road to Nowhere (1985); Love For Sale (1986). Lutz co-directed with Sandy McLeod the music video Red Hot + Blue (Too Darn Hot) performed by Erasure.

Production Design[edit]

Inner City Blues: The Music of Marvin Gaye (Bono Sequence) (1995), Red Hot + Blue ("Its Too Darn Hot") (1990)


  1. ^ View: Re: View: Judith Clark Costume Gallery. London. UK
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Adelle Lutz". IMDb. Retrieved 2018-03-08. 
  4. ^ a b Harold Koda. View: Re: View. Judith Clark Costume Gallery, London, UK
  5. ^ Roberta Smith, "Caution: Angry Artists at Work," New York Times, August 27, 2004
  6. ^ a b Kim Hastretier. "2002." Twenty Years of Style: The World According to Paper. 2004.
  7. ^ Roberta Smith. "Review/Art: A 24-hour a Day Show, on Gaudy, Bawdy 42nd St." New York Times. July 30, 1993.
  8. ^ Ariel Kaminer, New York, September 15, 1997
  9. ^ Lenore Newman and Jan L. Spak. "Flights of Fantasy." Designed for Delight. Montréal. Musées des Arts Decoratifs de Montréal. p. 244
  10. ^ Carlo McCormick. "Artist Adelle Lutz Conjures up the Mysterious and the Personal." Paper. 2002.
  11. ^ Hardy Blechman. Disruptive Pattern Material: An Encyclopedia of Camouflage. London. Frances Lincoln. 2004.
  12. ^ Ann Pasternak (ed.). Who Cares. Creative Time. New York. 2006
  13. ^ Ann Pasternak (ed). Creative Time: The Book. New York. Creative Time. 2007.
  14. ^ Tim Newark and Jonathan Miller. Camouflage. London. Thames & Hudson. 2007.
  15. ^ Ann Pasternak (ed.). Because Dreaming is Best Done in Public: Creative Time in Public Spaces. New York. Creative Time. 2012.
  16. ^ Jude Stewart. Bloomsbury Publishing. New York. 2015.
  17. ^
  18. ^ April 2002. Harper's
  19. ^
  20. ^ Marilyn J. Plotkins. The American Repertory Theatre Reference Book: The Brunstein Years. Praeger Publishers. Westport. 2005

External links[edit]