SIGN LANGUAGE: What does the letter M stand for? “Microcosm,” for one, and “Monde,” the French word for world.
To wit, French graphic design duo Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag of M/M (Paris) appear to be set for world domination. They are about to launch the second tome of their monograph and have no fewer than three exhibitions at major art institutions over the coming months.
In the alphabetical volume — starting and ending with the letter M — interviews with the designers, who have been working together for the past three decades and see their work as the construction of a visual language, frame 850 images of their various projects interspersed with conversations with personalities including designers Miuccia Prada and Jonathan Anderson.
The 456-page book, “M to M of M/M (Paris) Volume II,” follows on from their first tome, published in 2012 and now reprinted, and will be released on Oct. 22 by Thames & Hudson.
To coincide with its publication, M/M (Paris) will be the subject of a dual exhibition in Paris, “From One M/Museum to Another,” at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Musée d’Orsay, from Oct. 13 through Jan. 10, 2021.
Interspersed with both galleries’ permanent collections, the installations are intended to echo each other on either side of the Seine.
At the former, one display will feature pages from the monograph like a three-dimensional collage, while a second installation will re-create elements of their workshop. The latter, meanwhile, will display poster-sized versions of M/M’s “anthropomorphic alphabets,” which transform faces and plants into lettering, within its galleries, echoing the visual vocabulary of the museum’s permanent collections.
In parallel, “M/Made in Shanghai,” the duo’s first exhibition in China, opened on Sept. 27 and runs through April 18 next year at Shanghai’s massive Power Station of Art.
Augustyniak and Amzalag created M/M (Paris) in 1992 and have collaborated over the years with a diversity of contemporary artists, musicians, fashion designers, brands and magazines.