Virgil Abloh has announced on his Instagram account that he is now represented by the Paris-based gallery Galerie Kreo, where his exhibition "efflorescence” will show in January 2020. Debuted as part of the London Design Festival in September, "efflorescence” explores the paradoxes and transformations which occur within the urban city space.
Following a supposed three month hiatus of rest from a busy schedule at the helms of Off-White™ and Louis Vuitton menswear, Virgil Abloh promises to start off the new year with a bang. Abloh posted a photograph on Instagram holding the exhibition's invitation card which features a concrete structure reminiscent of a skating ramp with holes drilled in and a graffiti design across the block's face. Photographed from above the card is framed by two pairs of feet perhaps belonging to Galerie Kreo's founders Clémence and Didier Krzentowski. The gallery has worked with artists and designers including Pierre Charpin, Marc Newson and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec whose linear prints Abloh incorporated into Off-White's S/S 20 collection. In Abloh's Instagram post, grey paint marks on the designer's index finger allude to the gallery's self-proclaimed status as a 'laboratory-space' providing artists with workspaces to enable the production of experimental, contemporary and boundary-pushing work. Abloh's eclectic approach to design which often explores the concept of originality- he is known for his repeated use of quotation marks- is well-suited to that of Galerie Kreo. Abloh is well-versed in the worlds of art and design, often turning his hand to exhibition-making such as for the Off-White™ EMPTY GALLERY space in New York."efflorescence” comes hot on the heels of Abloh's retrospective "Figures of Speech" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Together with Off-White's "HOME" range, a DIY CHAIR booth at CIFF 2018, the Ikea "MAKERAD" collaboration and 'sinking' pieces of furniture presented at the Carpenter's Workshop Gallery during the 2019 Venice Biennale, an exhibition dedicated to contemporary furniture and homeware seems the next logical step for the Virgil Abloh universe to take.
The exhibition "efflorescence” will coincide with the Paris A/W 20 shows in January and will include 25 pieces such as coffee tables, consoles, seats, vases and mirrors. The noun 'efflorescence' defines the crystallisation of salt on the surface of concrete, and the items on show will explore the in-between spaces in the city often filled by graffiti and spurts of flowers. Galerie Kreo commented that '...the concrete surface offers a visual and emotional texture to recharge our immediate environment: a landscape where the rigidity of structures and urban planning meets the randomness of organic growth and human appropriation and mark-making.' Four pieces from "efflorescence” were shown during Abloh's Chicago retrospective and during the London Design Festival, however, Abloh's Instagram announcement suggests that the Paris iteration of the show will include unseen 'new work', perhaps fresh from the Paris catwalk or reacting directly to the urban centre as he continues to widen the definitions for contemporary design.
“efflorescence” runs from January 15 to April 10 at Galerie Kreo.