virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary art
 

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary art

opening in june 2019 at chicago’s museum of contemporary art (MCA),  figures of speech presents the work of virgil abloh in an exhibition designed by samir bantal, director of AMO, the research studio of rem koolhaas’s architectural firm OMA. on the entire fourth floor of the MCA, an in-depth look at defining highlights of abloh’s career will take place, focusing on the artist’s creative process and collaborative work across the different worlds he moves in: architecture, fashion, design, music, and art.

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary artmaterial table, 2016. courtesy of the artist

 

 

 

curated by michael darling of the MCA, figures of speech marks the first museum exhibition devoted to the work of the genre-bending artist and designer virgil abloh. a selection of his projects and collaborations will be displayed in an immersive space designed by samir bantal, who has worked through the lens of the ‘tourist’ and the ‘purist’, two types of museum visitors the show intends to speak to. 

 

 

‘an exhibition like this in a major contemporary art museum is the next milestone in the evolution of virgil’s practice,’ notes curator michael darling. ‘this show examines the choices virgil has made, the media he works with, and the context of his artistic inspiration. his projects have unfurled with intention, precision, critique, historical awareness, cultural sensitivity, and rigor, and when taken out of the buzzy, frothy context of luxury fashion, celebrity mannequins, and hip hop one-upmanship, a very measured vision emerges.’

 

 

the collaboration extends to the catalogue and merchandise design of the exhibition, sold at a pop-up store in the MCA. the show is developed to travel internationally and is part of an ongoing collaboration between AMO and virgil on other projects.

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary art
question everything flags, image by ivan grianti

 

 

amongst the works detailing virgil abloh’s short but thus far illustrious career, is a custom multiplayer and digital mixer he created in collaboration with audio specialists pioneer DJ. abloh reimagines the brand’s classic CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2  models as ‘skeleton’ designs, devoid of all branding and covered in a see-through casing to expose their inner-workings.

 

 

 

whilst all color has been stripped from the molded parts of the CDJS and mixer, the lighting schematics remain, emitting a rainbow of color when being used. abloh hopes the non-labeled ”TRANSPARENT” renditions will inspire a ‘new way for music technology and human interaction to equal a different result.’ 

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary art pioneer DJ

image courtesy of pioneer DJ

 

 
 
 
 
 
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caught a couple meetings with @pioneerdjglobal… dreamt out loud

A post shared by @ virgilabloh on

 

 

virgil abloh cultivated an interest in design and music at an early age, finding inspiration in the urban culture of chicago. while pursuing a master’s degree in architecture from the illinois institute of technology, he connected with kanye west and joined west’s creative team to work on album covers, concert designs, and merchandising. in 2013, abloh founded his stand-alone fashion brand off-white™ in milan, italy, and in 2018 assumed the position of men’s artistic director of louis vuitton.

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary art
virgil abloh and ben kelly, hacienda columns, 2019. courtesy of the artist

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary art
virgil abloh for IKEA, wet grass, 2018 (prototype) woven rug. image courtesy of IKEA

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary artlook 28, louis vuitton men’s collection, spring/summer 2019 (“dark side of the rainbow”). photo courtesy oflouis vuitton malletier/ludwig bonnet

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary art

”TRANSPARENT” series for pioneer DJ by virgil abloh
image courtesy of pioneer DJ

 

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary art

”TRANSPARENT” series for pioneer DJ by virgil abloh
image courtesy of pioneer DJ

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary art
pink panther: scales of justice, 2019. courtesy of the artist

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary artoff-white, dress for beyoncé, 2018. courtesy of the artist

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary artcolor gradient chair, 2018. courtesy of the artist

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary artvirgil abloh for nike. image by hanna garcía fleer

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary artyou’re obviously in the wrong place, 2015/19. courtesy of the artist

virgil abloh exhibition designed by AMO opens at chicago’s museum of contemporary artvirgil abloh at work. image by hanna garcía fleer

 

project info:

 

name: figures of speech

designer: virgil abloh

creative direction: samir bantal, AMO

location: museum of contemporary art (MCA), chicago

duration: june 10 – september 22, 2019

 

 

the exhibition is organized by michael darling, james w. alsdorf chief curator, with curatorial assistance from chanon kenji praepipatmongkol, marjorie susman curatorial fellow. it is presented in the griffin galleries of art on the museum’s fourth floor.

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