Centre Pompidou: Traversing appearances


Art | April 4, 2024 |

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Image courtesy of Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou: Bridging appearance
Paris, France
January 24 – April 22, 2024

After “Yves Saint Laurent in Museums” in 2022, the Centre Pompidou invites Laurence Benaïm to continue the dialogue between art and fashion by formulating a chromatic and conceptual conversation between designer profiles and works from the Musée National d’Art Moderne’s collection. The aim is to celebrate the body in motion and its intimate relationship with clothing and space in an exhibition that lauds the powerful connections between fashion and artistic creation.

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Image courtesy of Centre Pompidou

From Christian Dior to Iris van Herpen, from Azzedine Alaïa to Thebe Magugu, from Jean-Paul Gaultier to Issey Miyake via Chanel and Charles de Vilmorin, the exhibition includes 17 models and traces the lines of correspondence between fashion and artists, both modern and contemporary. Elective affinities, shared obsessions… in each case, a profile that reinvents anatomy through trompe-l’oeil or prostheses engages in dialogue with a work or artistic current. It is a journey into the formal imagination of fashion designers and offers a new take on the Centre Pompidou’s collection.

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Image courtesy of Centre Pompidou

Since the early 20th century, collaborations (Helmut Lang, Louise Bourgeois and Jenny Holzer) and mutual inspiration (Andy Warhol and Yves Saint Laurent) have stimulated dialogue between art and fashion. Paul Poiret was one of the first fashion designers to work with artists, such as Robert Delaunay, André Derain, Constantin Brancusi, Pablo Picasso and Raoul Dufy. Elsa Schiaparelli and Yves Saint Laurent are another well-known pair. Since then, exchanges have continued, with one feeding off the other – and vice versa. This proposed journey through the Centre Pompidou’s collection illustrates this effervescence and brings the works on display to life.

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Image courtesy of Centre Pompidou

Traversing appearances does not offer a pedagogical discourse on fashion, nor an argument for recognising it as an art form in its own right. There is no doubt: fashion is much more than just an artistic expression or a passing trend. It can be a powerful tool for political and societal advocacy, enabling designers to share their convictions and defend causes close to their hearts. Indeed, the lives of fashion designers are often closely linked to the context of their times, leading them to use their art to express their ideas and struggles.

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Image courtesy of Centre Pompidou

Laurence Benaïm on the exhibition:
“It is a journey in the form of chromatic and formal conversations, reminiscences and encounters, structured by the disruptive developments that marked the history of the 20th and 21st centuries and crossing boundaries to redefine stylistic vocabularies on both sides. It is a story of correspondences rather than similarities, of elective affinities and obsessions. Beyond the age-old question (is it art?) and all the justifications that fashion inspires, it is a tribute to those inner forces without which there is no right to dare, to transcribe dreams by dressing them up.”

more. www.centrepompidou.fr

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Image courtesy of Centre Pompidou

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