The exhibition Figures of Speech, Virgil Abloh’s first solo exhibition, has opened to the public this weekend at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). Virgil Abloh teamed up with AMO’s director Samir Bantal to develop the creative direction and narrative of the exhibition, for which the entire 4th floor of the MCA has been dedicated. Together with Virgil, AMO developed a concept along the different worlds Virgil moves in: Architecture, Fashion, Design, Music and Art.
Curated by Michael Darling of the MCA, a selection of Virgil’s work was made to be displayed in the different halls, providing a complete overview of the incredible range of Virgil’s talent and influence. From Virgil’s early days in fashion, and his role as Kanye West’s creative multidisciplinary director, to his current role as Louis Vuitton’s creative director of menswear and superstar DJ, Virgil Abloh’s work has touched an incredibly wide audience globally.
Virgil and AMO worked through the lens of the ‘tourist’ and the ‘purist’, two types of museum visitors the show intends to speak to. The collaboration extends to the catalogue and the design of the pop-up store “Church & State” in the MCA. The show is developed to travel internationally and is part of an ongoing collaboration between AMO and Virgil on other projects, including the design for a new Off-White store in Miami.
“Essential to this exhibition, “Figures of Speech” was for me to approach it with my architectural frame of mind,” explains Virgil Abloh. “A particular strain of architecture that Samir Bantal possess, as the lead of AMO. The dialogue between us early on helped guide not only the exhibit but illustrating what an instance of “architecture” represents today.”
“Moving between fashion, art, design and music, Virgil has a powerful palette to choose from,” adds Samir Bantal, AMO. “Leaning on his architecture training, he creates a potent mixture of these ingredients making his reach in contemporary popular culture extremely effective.”
Figures of Speech is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago until September 22, 2019.