Fashion

A CHANGE OF ART: GUCCI TURNS TO THE ART WORLD

A new exhibition in Seoul promises a utopia for creativity, but is it the first time designers have taken to the art scene?

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Gucci is working with the Daelim Museum in Seoul to present a new exhibition, opening in March 2020. Entitled No Space, Just A Place, the brand is commissioning radical curator Myriam Ben Salah to develop an alternative to your usual art space. Creative director Alessandro Michele and Saleh are working towards creating a “utopian place in which to set new empowering narratives, dwelling on the understanding of otherness, the exploration of minoritarian identities and queer politics,” according to the brand’s press release. This alternative space, will feature three floors filled with work from local and international artists, and will contrast the conventional ‘white box’ neutrality of commercial galleries.

But in this ‘slash generation’ where many have ambiguous job titles heading their CV to incorporate their various disciples (“you know, I’ve been working as an artist/activist/dog-lover/gymnast for 3 years now?”), it's not the first time Michele has gone outside of his fashion design remit and delved into the art world. In fact, if it wasn’t for the various snaps with Harry Styles, Lana Del Rey and Jared Leto, you’d probably think from his Instagram he was enrolled on a fine art course at Central Saint Martins. Since taking over the helm at Gucci in 2015, he’s introduced collaborations with many artists and illustrators such as Maurizio Cattelan, Trevor Andrew (aka GucciGhost) and Isabella Cotier, to name a few, and with a restaurant coming to LA and a homeware collection launched in 2017, he's the designer with his finger in all the creative pies.

"mICHELE IS THE DESIGNER WITH HIS FINGER IN ALL THE CREATIVE PIES."

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If we step our gaze outside of the Gucci world, pretty as it may be, there’s an abundance of luxury designers doing the same. Let’s not forget Art Basel Miami 2019, where a roster of big brands, such as Versace, Bottega Veneta and Louis Vuitton presented artwork or special collaborations. Outside of art fairs, Virgil Abloh’s Expression of Speech showcased at The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago last year, which was the first exhibition devoted to his work. Adding to this, across the pond over in London, we saw Grace Wales Bonner partner with the Serpentine-Sackler Gallery early in 2019. NOW Gallery too have commissioned fashion designers, so far hosting exhibitions with Molly Goddard, Richard Malone and Charles Jeffrey.

Although No Space, Just A Place’s curated content has been kept under wraps, if Michele’s previous artistic interpretations are anything to go off, we know to expect something big.

The No Space, Just A Place exhibition will run from 12th March to 15th June.

images | shutterstock

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