The reclusive designer, who retired from fashion in 2009, has been the subject of multiple exhibitions in recent years, as well as a 2019 documentary, “Martin Margiela: In His Own Words.” He has never before shown his art.
“Martin Margiela,” set to run from April 15 to July 25, will feature previously unseen sculptures, photographs and installations, most of which have been created in the workshops of the 24,000-square-foot space designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas’ OMA agency. Margiela also created the scenography for the exhibition.
“This exhibition celebrates the idea that Martin Margiela has always been an artist, whose work has played out since, within and outside the art world,” the foundation said in a statement.
“Martin Margiela has always made us look at things with fresh eyes. Going against the grain, he cultivates an obsession for discreet people, abandoned objects and forgotten places and events, bestowing on them a new dignity,” it added.
“The exhibition presented at Lafayette Anticipations, conceived as a complete work of art, continues Martin Margiela’s obsession with transformation,” it continued, adding that he was inspired by perennial themes in his work such as “the passage of time, disappearance, chance, mystery, aura.”
While the works of art will remain under wraps until the opening of the exhibition, the foundation expects to release some teaser visuals in January. The show is sure to create positive buzz for the space, part of a neighborhood renewal project spearheaded by Galeries Lafayette, which stretches to its BHV Marais department store and also encompasses the food outlet Eataly.
The retailer has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, with its stores shut for a large portion of the year and a near-absence of foreign tourists in Paris. Chief executive officer Nicolas Houzé forecast in May that sales would drop by 50 percent, or 1 billion euros, this year.