A group exhibition (presented in Munich, Paris and Tokyo) of newly produced and existing works by eight internationally renowned contemporary artists. They explore thread as the prime medium in their practice.
The Espaces Louis Vuitton in Munich, Paris and Tokyo present Le fil rouge, a group exhibition of new and existing contemporary artworks realized with the medium of thread.
Participating artists: Ghada Amer, Tracey Emin, Isa Melsheimer, Hans Op de Beeck, Michael Raedecker, Fred Sandback, Chiharu Shiota, Tatiana Trouvé
Curated by: Michiko Kono
The Espaces Louis Vuitton Munich, Paris and Tokyo are pleased to present Le fil rouge [The red thread], a group exhibition of newly produced and existing works by eight internationally renowned contemporary artists. For the first time, onetheme is examined simultaneously at the three venues—with each location showcasing its independent interpretation—thus continuing the Espace network’s enlivened partnership, which launched in 2014 with the co-production of the open studio programme IN SITU-1.
Le fil rouge explores thread as the prime medium in the practice of contemporary artists. Unlike pencil and paint, thread is not linked to an intrinsic finality, and its materiality encourages infinite artistic expressions and explorations. Replacing the brush, thread in contemporary art is embroidered or glued onto the image carrier, and combined with paint. Canvas fragments are sewn together using thread. By stretching lengths of yarn at different scales and in varied configurations, it is employed to form sculptures, trace lines in space, reproduce architectural principles or seemingly suspend the laws of physics. Many of the exhibiting artists do not work exclusively with thread, but revert to it as a medium that offers a broad spectrum of applications and is easy to handle.
Each Espace presents works by four of the eight artists, referencing the theme and the other artists’ works in an engaging three-way dialogue. The first chapter at the Espace in Munich showcases embroidery-based works by Ghada Amer, Tracey Emin and Michael Raedecker. The theme continues in Paris with a show dedicated to site-specific installations by Isa Melsheimer, Fred Sandback and Chiharu Shiota. The Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo concludes the collaboration with a summary of the topic, presenting works by Ghada Amer, Michael Raedecker and Tatiana Trouvé. Hans Op de Beeck’s newly commissioned film The Thread is dedicated to the theme and will be shown at all three Espaces.
About the artists
One of the themes central to the work of Isa Melsheimer (b. 1968 in Neuss, Germany) is architecture. For the Espace in Paris, she has created a new installation reconstructing in thread hyperbolic paraboloids whose form has inspired many an architect. It served as the basis of the Philips Pavilion, conceived and built by Iannis Xenakis for Expo 58 in Brussels. Melsheimer’s interpretation pays tribute to the architect’s iconic feat and celebrates the material qualities of thread by employing it in three-dimensional space on a grand scale. (Paris)
Fred Sandback (b. 1943 in Bronxville, USA / died 2003 in New York, USA) devoted his practice, which spanned more than 30 years, to the language of yarn. As presented at the Espace Louis Vuitton Paris, the medium allowed him to create room-filling volumetric forms using the most minimal of means. The exhibited signature works express Sandback’s mastery of thread to elaborate on the phenomenological experience of space and volume. (Paris)
Chiharu Shiota’s (b. 1972 in Osaka, Japan) work for the Espace in Paris is an overwhelming exploration of her interest in the topic of life and death. It is an installation of lightbulbs suspended in space and entangled by thread, switching on and off. Shiota’s application of thread, by her own definition, has nothing to do with handicrafts; it simply enables her to explore “breath and space like a line in painting”. (Paris)
In his new film, Hans Op de Beeck (b. 1969 in Turnhout, Belgium) employs puppets for the first time and affords the curatorial theme of the “red thread” with an interpretation derived from Asian mythology. The work continues the artist’s exploration of contemporary society’s complexities and universal questions of the meaning of life and mortality. (Munich, Paris, Tokyo)
Ghada Amer (b. 1963 in Cairo, Egypt) took to embroidery to “find a woman’s way of painting”, which she pursues by re-appropriating images of women from pornographic magazines, originally conceived for the pleasures of the male gaze. The motifs are obscured by tangles of thread, and by making the former hardly recognizable, the artist questions stereotypes and taboos, in particular ones related to feminine pleasure. (Munich, Tokyo)
Tracey Emin (b. 1963 in London, UK) presents a new piece in Munich that continues her expansive body of embroidery works creating evocative impressions of the female nude, historically rendered by the expressive line drawings of male artists. Despite her application of traditionally feminine techniques, Emin does not locate her practice in the feminist tradition and claims that she adopted embroidery because she “always liked sewing”. (Munich)
Michael Raedecker (b. 1963 in Amsterdam, Netherlands) combines “high and low art”, painting and stitching, the former offering a great deal of freedom, the latter following the necessities of function and precise instructions. The paint lends his panels a uniform tonality, while motifs and textures are created by thread, which he applies through embroidery and gluing. (Munich, Tokyo)
Tatiana Trouvé (b. 1968 in Cosenza, Italy) presents an installation at the Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo composed of 250 suspended plumb lines hovering barely above ground level, none being able to achieve a vertical stance. As with many of her works, the installation blurs the line between the absurd and the rational, the possible and the unimaginable. (Tokyo)
ESPACE LOUIS VUITTON MÜNCHEN
January 29 to April 11, 2015
Maximilianstraße 2a, 80539 München
HOURS: Monday–Friday noon–7pm, Saturday 10am–6pm
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ESPACE LOUIS VUITTON TOKYO
April 8 to May 31, 2015
Omotesando Bldg. 7F 5-7-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
HOURS: Sunday-Saturday noon-8pm
ESPACE LOUIS VUITTON PARIS
February 6 to May 3, 2015
60, rue de Bassano, 75008 Paris
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