Qatar Museums unveils Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech at Fire Station
Qatar Museums is currently presenting Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech, a mid-career retrospective of the acclaimed American artist and designer at the Fire Station's Garage Gallery, on view until March 31, 2022.
With more than 55 works, the exhibition offers an in-depth look at Abloh's diverse pioneering media practice that ranges from visual arts to music, fashion, architecture, and design. Figures of Speech is organized by Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, adapted for this presentation by Qatar Museums, and designed by and in collaboration with AMO.
Sheikha Reem Al Thani, Acting Deputy CEO of Exhibitions & Marketing, Qatar Museums, said: “Qatar Museums is delighted to officially unveil Figures of Speech, an exhibition showcasing Abloh’s artistic talent across various mediums. We look forward to welcoming the wider community to the first exhibition of his work to be presented in the Middle East, which forms part of Qatar Creates, a week of cultural exchange, dialogue, and collaboration at the forefront of art, architecture, fashion, design and digital culture."
Throughout Qatar Creates, dynamic leaders and rising stars from creative industries in Qatar and around the world will engage in cultural exchange, dialogue and collaboration at the forefront of art, architecture, fashion, design, and digital culture.
Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech was curated by the MCA’s former James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator, Michael Darling with creative direction from Virgil Abloh, and Samir Bantal, Director of AMO (the research studio of the acclaimed architecture firm OMA). Curatorial assistance was also provided by Chanon Kenji Praepipatmongkol, Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow at the MCA Chicago.
This exhibition has been on view at the MCA Chicago (June 10 – September 29, 2019), the High Museum of Art Atlanta (Nov 12, 2019 – March 8, 2020) and at the ICA Boston (July 3 – September 26, 2021).
"Linking multiple dimensions in contemporary culture, from Caravaggio to G Wagon, in one exhibition tells you the fluidity and omniscience of Virgil as a cultural figure. No discipline bastion too difficult to enter. The prototype is his weapon of choice," explains Bantal.
Through Abloh’s own work and many collaborations, Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech shows the complex universe of fashion, music, art and design he moves in, demonstrating his ability to fluently speak the language of each discipline.
Transcending the idea of a discipline, Abloh’s work, since the initial show in Chicago, has grown to a continuous broadcast of creativity. The exhibition is designed to provide an overview of the disciplines, pivotal moments, and statements of one of the most important contemporary cultural phenomena.
The Fire Station provides a unique setting for the exhibition. Two large gallery spaces give the visitors the immersive experience to feel the variety of works, while the more intimate gallery 3 puts emphasis on the theme of race in Black Gaze.
The outdoor courtyard connects all galleries and places some of Abloh’s works where they belong, in the city. The Doha edition of Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech contains the Inflatable Bouncy Castle as well as the never before exhibited Customized Mercedes G-Wagon. The exhibition design also repurposes a number of elements from Qatar Museums’ previous exhibitions, such as the LED ticker signs and steel grates minimizing waste.
As a continuation of the works in the galleries, a concept store uses one of Fire Station’s warehouse spaces as the ideal setting to browse the exhibition merchandise. The concept store features a retrospective of best-selling Off-White™ products and exclusive new collections inspired by the exhibition. The products are available in-store, on-site only.
Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech is sponsored by Qatar Airways, Astro Automotive Services, Mazaya Real Estate Development Company and Qatar-USA Year of Culture.
The exhibition is presented as part of the Qatar-United States 2021 Year of Culture, sponsored by ExxonMobil, an annual international cultural exchange designed to deepen understanding between nations and their people.
To book tickets to Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech, please visit: www.firestation.org.qa/en/content/virgil-abloh Culture Pass Plus and Culture Family Members enjoy complimentary access to the exhibition.
Visit www.qm.org.qa/en/culturepass to become part of Qatar's arts and culture community with a full program of benefits to suit every artistic passion, and the chance to enjoy exclusive and behind-the-scene access to guided tours, exhibitions, talks, and workshops.
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