We want to see the newest things. That is because we want to see the future, even if only momentarily. It is the moment in which, even if we don’t completely understand what we have glimpsed, we are nonetheless touched by it. This is what we have come to call art.
We are driven by an innate ambition to make artworks that are shaped by societal observations—in a variety of media—which by their existence produce a new cultural impact.
Gagosian is pleased to participate in ART021 Shanghai with “FUTURE HISTORY”, an exhibition of collaborative works by Takashi Murakami and Virgil Abloh.
Murakami and Abloh have produced a unique series of works in which their respective styles and trademarks intersect in a stream of free-wheeling, punkish mash-ups. Murakami draws from sources as diverse as traditional Japanese painting, otaku subculture, Western art theory, Hollywood cinema, and hip-hop. His expansive art production spills over into fashion, film, and commercial commodities, exploding the divisions of high art and pop culture. Trained as an architect and engineer, Abloh works across fashion, architecture, performance, and consumer products, often deconstructing the creative process in public to challenge and analyze existing aesthetic systems and their distribution. His street-couture label Off-White, which he founded in 2013, combines tailoring with more subversive references, dispensing with common conventions of fashion. The duo’s ironic and insouciant artistic gestures are designed to disrupt the tiers of stratified cultural production. Following exhibitions in London, Paris, and Los Angeles in 2018, this presentation marks the first time that their collaborative works have been shown in China.
The booth will feature paintings and limited-edition canvas-and-leather handbags made in 2018 by Murakami and Abloh. Combining the insignias of the two artists, the crossed arrows of Abloh’s label Off-White are overlaid onto Murakami’s iconic rainbow flower, stenciled canvases in gradations of color, and images of Mr. DOB—Murakami’s first invented character, inspired by anime and manga characters. Bernini’s Self-Portrait as a Young Man (1623) dissolves in a psychedelic swirl of color, in which traces of Mr. DOB transform the youthful silhouette of the Baroque artist.
Takashi Murakami was born in 1962 in Tokyo, where he lives and works. Collections include 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Australia; PinchukArtCentre, Kiev; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Museum of Modern Art, New York. Recent institutional exhibitions include Murakami Versailles, Château de Versailles, France (2010); Murakami-Ego, Qatar Museums Authority, Doha (2012); Arhat Cycle, Palazzo Reale, Milan (2014); The 500 Arhats, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2015); Murakami by Murakami, Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2017); The Deep End of the Universe, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY (2017); Under the Radiation Falls, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2017); The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2017, traveled to Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada, and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX, in 2018). Murakami is the founder of Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd., an art production and management company that both produces his own work and provides a supportive environment for emerging artists.
Virgil Abloh was born in 1980 in Rockford, Illinois. After earning a degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he completed a master’s degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 2013, he founded the Milan-based clothing line Off-White, for which he was awarded the British Fashion Council’s Urban Luxe award in 2017. In March, Louis Vuitton named Abloh its new artistic director of menswear. He showed his first collection for Louis Vuitton during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June 2018. In 2019, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, will hold a retrospective of his work curated by Michael Darling.
To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at [email protected].