2022.12.24 SAT - 2023.03.26 SUN

Martin Margiela
at LOTTE Museum of Art
LOTTE Museum of Art
Martin Margiela
at LOTTE Museum of Art
2022.12.24 SAT - 2022.03.26 SUN
Martin Margiela

'Beauty as a quality only becomes apparent at certain occasions, in other words it is a quality in which those occasions play an important role.' 

- written message in the former headquarters of Maison Martin Margiela 


The LOTTE Museum of Art presents Martin Margiela at LOTTE Museum of Art, an illuminating look into the visual art world of Martin Margiela (b. 1957), an artist who has been ahead of his time with singular attempts that upset conventions and formats.


The show features more than fifty multi-medium visual art pieces echoing Margiela’s long-reflected ideas since the 1980s regarding the arts, materials, the body, the concept of gender, the permanence of time, and audience involvement. The theme, renewed and developed since his Maison Martin Margiela days of eccentric runways and adopting experimental images and objects, now manifests as an extension of visual art in a far more boundary-pushing and broad art form. The artist singles out the art museum as the only place that continues to create and welcome alternate ways of thinking that simultaneously shift the disclosure and dismantlement of the structure via the ruin of existing formats and the harmonization and transformation of mediums; Thus, he surveys the exhibition space for new possibilities. 


For the LOTTE presentation, trompe l'œil optical illusions are purposefully positioned throughout the exhibit space as part of the larger context of the artist’s ongoing study of the essence of objects to induce viewer participation and offer a propositional perspective. With it, Margiela first modifies the sequential flow of the museum’s traditional layout and attempts to subvert the prevailing outlook by borrowing, reproducing, and expanding images and forms of objects. Vertical blinds section off one artwork from the other within a labyrinthine space, producing a repetitive effect of rest and recall of thought that magnifies the focus awarded to a piece.

His multi-medium works, such as Deodorant (2022), a contemplative piece about the industrialized beauty and body via a modern everyday item; Top Coat (2011), which conveys the duality of desiring just the ultimate beauty through the absence of an object; Dust Cover (2021), a work offering a puzzle about the traces of existence through the reorganization of the viewpoint and context of everyday objects, and Film Dust (2021), emerge as pervasive visual art, painting, sculpture, photograph, installation, and collage pieces unbridled by convention. The visual culture presented by Margiela may hold internal structural similarities with his fashion, but its visual image is in stark contrast.


Martin Margiela at LOTTE Museum of Art will examine the brilliant and multifarious artistic world of Martin Margiela and allow the audience to experience the alternate possibilities of thought envisioned and forged by the artist, serving as the stage where the arts pose questions and individuals and the public exchange and embrace opinions and viewpoints. 


The scenography is designed by Ania Martchenko and the artist.

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Martin Margiela (b.1957)

Martin Margiela, widely known as the founder of Maison Martin Margiela, was born in 1957 in Leuven, Belgium. His mother sold perfumes in his father’s barbershop. He was drawn to fashion at age six after becoming mesmerized by the unconventional designs of one of the most influential fashion designers of the 1960's, André Courrèges(1923 – 2016), when he discovered one of his collections on television. As a teenager, he studied at Sint-Lukas Kunsthumaniora art school in Hasselt, Belgium, and poured himself into experimenting with different styles and combinations by collecting accessories and clothes of diverse materials from second-hand shops.

Margiela entered the world of fashion in 1980 as a freelance designer in Italy and Belgium after graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Upon moving to Paris, he worked as the first assistant to Jean Paul Gaultier (b. 1952) from 1984 to 1987 before forming his own brand with his business partner Jenny Meirens in 1988, showcasing the 1990 S/S Collection as its show in 1989 at a deserted playground in a rundown neighborhood in Paris. With models staggering down a runway of ruins, Margiela sent shockwaves through the fashion industry and made a name for himself with his idiosyncratic and radical style that put conventional thinking on its head. In addition to his involvement with the Maison, the artist was with Hermès as its creative director of the women’s ready-to-wear department from 1997 to 2003, running shows for twelve seasons. Through the years, he has continued to forge links with the art world holding exhibitions at institutions worldwide, including BOZAR, Brussels, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Haus der Kunst, Munich, LACMA, Los Angeles, and Somerset House, London. Then in 2008, he left the fashion industry marking his exit with the Maison Martin Margiela 20th anniversary collection.


Margiela has been entirely focused on his work as a visual artist since then, hosting his first large-scale solo exhibition Martin Margiela at Lafayette Anticipation, in October 2021 at the Paris foundation’s invitation, trailed by a presentation at M WOODS Museum, Beijing, and opening a show at the LOTTE Museum of Art, Seoul, in December of 2022. The deconstructivist style of the artist dismantles and rearranges elements to produce obscure meaning, conveying the passing of time by outwardly showing the traces of use and the production process. Overturning common sense and boundaries departed from the everyday medium of clothes, Margiela’s vision is blurring genres and fueling uninhibited endeavors of even more diverse materials to once again shape into novel works of art.



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Martin Margiela at LOTTE Museum of Art

2022.12.24 SAT - 2023.03.26 SUN
General ㅣ 1 person
Culture day
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