‘Pierre Bonnard: Designed by India Mahdavi’ at Melbourne’s NGV creates an unlikely pairing between the French post-impressionist painter and the Tehran-born architect and designer. Presented in collaboration with Musée d’Orsay, NGV’s exhibition features more than 100 works by Pierre Bonnard that illustrate late-19th and early-20th-century France.
Mahdavi explodes details from Bonnard’s works and recreates his iridescent palette as psychedelic wallpapers, creating an immersive environment within which to introduce Bonnard to a new generation. Mahdavi has also incorporated other domestic details into the exhibition design to evoke the wistful domestic intimacy for which Bonnard is renowned, such as window openings that frame the view into adjacent galleries and bespoke furniture for lounging.
"It is arguably Mahdavi’s captivating scenography that steals the show.”
Creating a continuous loop through cinematic history, New York-based video artist Marco Brambilla satirizes seminal moments of the silver screen in large-scale video installation, ‘Heaven’s Gate.’ Oscillating between hyper-saturated imagery, capturing the polarities of the Hollywood spectacle, the piece explores the tensions and intersections of religion, industry, and celebrity – the meteoric rise and catastrophic falls, and the loss of innocence to experience and excess.
Taking the European premiere to London’s Outernet Arts, the collaged work compresses 500 looping film clips into four minutes, ascending through a series of surreal landscapes: vertical lava fields, waterfalls, prehistoric forests, industrial landscapes, and palaces of consumption, ﬁnally landing at the heavenly ﬁelds of celebrity spectacle and chaos. A rich tapestry of influential material is pieced together as a metaphorical journey traversing Dante’s seven levels of purgatory, vertically arranged, and unearthing new conflicts as the viewer rises through a labyrinth of labyrinths.
Kehinde Wiley’s major permanent public art installation, ‘Go,’ one of three site-specific art installations in the new Moynihan Train Hall, opened to the public on January 1, 2021. As part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s visionary transformation of one of New York City’s most important and largest transportation hubs, Penn Station, ‘Go’ is the artist’s first permanent site-specific installation in glass.
Commanding the expansive ceiling of the 33rd Street Midblock Entrance Hall, Wiley’s hand-painted glass triptych celebrates the vibrancy and virtuosity of bodies in motion on a monumental scale. ‘Go’ is an exuberant depiction of young, Black New Yorkers in poses which draw inspiration from breakdance, the modern dance style which originated in New York during the 1960s and 70s among African American and Latino youth.
In ‘Fragile Future,’ multidisciplinary artists DRIFT transform The Shed with sound, movement, and film. Featuring a soundtrack created by ANOHNI, ‘Fragile Future’ takes audiences on a journey through a series of interconnected installations, exploring the universal desire to seek out connection and the power to be found in relinquishing control when embracing change.
DRIFT’s founders Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta address urgent environmental themes in their work in order to challenge their audiences to think differently about their connections to Earth. The exhibition’s installations—from multitudes of shimmering lights that traverse the gallery like glowing seeds caught in the wind to massive concrete blocks, or Drifters, that magically float on air—offer a hopeful atmosphere for imagining a different world.
On select dates, Drifters becomes a surreal immersive experience that spans The Shed’s four-story-high, 17,000-square-foot McCourt space. In this unique experience, a congregation of Drifters dances on the air in an ethereal atmosphere.
For the second installment of their 2019 video art program, Westfield and Art Production Fund displayed a dynamic excerpt from artist Marco Brambilla’s ‘Nude Descending a Staircase No. 3’ across the large-scale screens at Westfield World Trade Center in New York City and Westfield Century City in Los Angeles, measuring up to 4 stories tall.
‘Nude Descending a Staircase No. 3’ moved the iconic Duchamp painting (Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2) into the dimension of time. The illusion of movement in the painting was explored as the figures which inhabit the digital canvas constantly reconfigure themselves to cascade down an unseen stairway. The figures, shapes and color palette are pure cubism, now expanded into three dimensions using state-of-the-art computer technology. ‘Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2’ is a rare case where an artist drew from a “new” technology (Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic time-studies) as an inspiration for a painting. By taking the original Duchamp painting back into the technological realm and adding the dimension of time, Brambilla aimed to complete the circle and pay homage to the deconstructed image using a wholly contemporary visual language.
Using technology to reimagine and animate such an art historically significant work, Brambilla’s interpretation of the iconic painting afforded the public the opportunity to experience and contemplate ‘Nude Descending A Staircase’ like never before.
For the second annual Noor Riyadh festival, a festival of light and art taking place across the capital of Saudi Arabia, Dutch artist and designer Sabine Marcelis utilized colored two-way mirrored glass to create an ephemeral sculpture titled ‘Light Horizon.’
Encapsulating the theme, ‘We Dream of New Horizons,’ ‘Light Horizon’ is a light-based, immersive and interactive artwork comprising 11 staggered glass columns. During the day, these cast myriad light reflections and shadows defined by their varying orientations. By night, ‘Light Horizon’ comes to life – the pillars light up from within, turning them translucent, completely changing the feel and concept of the piece. The scale of the artwork allows the audience to wander through and immerse themselves within the larger-than-life horizon to seek out their own slice of this unique experience.
Commissioned by Aorist with partner Faena Art, Random International’s ‘Living Room’ installation arrived at Miami Art Week 2022, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the responsive maze of light. The team notes that its light-based artwork marks a shift in how blockchain technology can revolutionize how visitors experience and collect art.
‘Living Room’ explores the idea of space as a living being. Visitors are invited to enter a fluctuating architectural domain, which is itself a sentient organism embodied in light and fog. The organism uses these materials to express itself and interact with those who inhabit it. Continually altering its form in response to visitors in varying and unpredictable ways and creating a living labyrinth in real time and in real space.
‘Apollo XVIII’ ia a multi-channel video installation created by Marco Brambilla Studio that interpreted man’s relationship to space exploration and presented an imagined mission to the moon; a mission born in the virtual age. For one month, Times Square was transformed into a virtual launchpad as ‘Apollo XVIII’ played across dozens of electronic billboards from 11:57pm to midnight.
In collaboration with NASA, footage was filmed at Cape Canaveral, combined with Hubble imagery, rare material from the NASA archives and original computer-generated imagery to fabricate the fictitious mission. Combining iconic moments from past and present with the wholly synthetic, ‘Apollo XVIII’ presented a new collective viewing experience, calling into question the nature of fact and fiction, reality versus perception and context.
As part of the 2019 Venice Biennale’s DYSFUNCTIONAL, an immersive exhibit presented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery in partnership with the Lombard Odier Group, DRIFT’s ‘Fragile Future 3’ is a multidisciplinary light sculpture that sits at the intersection of nature and technology, combining both in a tender balance.
The three-dimensional bronze electrical circuits were connected to light-emitting dandelions, bolted together to form a power circuit overgrowing walls, floors and ceilings, forming modular sculptures and chandeliers.
The sculpture contains real dandelion seeds that were picked by hand and glued, seed by seed, to LED lights. This labor-intensive process, a clear statement against mass production and throwaway culture, is a critical yet utopian vision on the future of our planet, wherein two seemingly opposite evolutions have made a pact to survive.
DRIFT artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta have installed ‘Shylight,’ a site-specific, performative sculpture, for the 2023 New York City Ballet Art Series.
The work unites the movement of industrial motors with multi-layered, chalice-like, silk structures that move with the grace of a dancer into a natural choreography with the goal of finding live emotion and personality in an inanimate material. With custom choreography supervised by the artists themselves, ‘Shylight’s unpredictable, natural-looking movements become an object that feels alive as it descends to blossom in all its glorious beauty, to subsequently close and retreat upward again.
When French choreographer Yoann Bourgeois was invited by the Center des Monuments Nationaux to create a performance for the Panthéon in Paris, he chose the fight against gravity as his leitmotif. ‘The Mechanics of History – an attempt to approach a point of suspension’ became a dizzying performance that took place in the ridge of this historic dome.
‘The Great Ghosts’ is a cinematographic adaptation of this living exhibition in a breathtaking setting, co-realized with Louise Narboni. Fixed to the highest point of the Pantheon dome, Foucault’s famous pendulum provides the medium for a choreographic creation around movement and balance. Bourgeois uses a constellation of autonomous devices that amplify physical phenomena: trampolines, a turntable and his famous ‘seesaw of levity,’ with which he defies gravity and balances between beauty and fear.
‘The Great Ghosts’ won Best Live Performance Capture at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival and Best Film at the Dance Screen initiated and organized by the IMZ International Music + Media Centre.
As part of the re-enchanting Villa Medici project, the french academy in Rome unveiled the new design of its historic rooms, India Mahdavi was invited to refurbish the ‘piano nobile’ at Villa Medici – Salon Lili Boulang. This project was carried out in collaboration with the Mobilier National, a major institution of creation and heritage since the 17th century, and with the support of the Bettencourt Schueller foundation, which has supported the arts and crafts for over 20 years.
For this project, Mahdavi proposed a new approach to Villa Medici’s rooms, where geometry and color play a fundamental role and contribute to renewing the spirit of the place. The new design of the historic rooms features exceptional furniture specially designed by Mahdavi for Villa Medici: beds, tables, seats and carpets as privileged spots for observing the surrounding heritage, in particular the 16th-century paintings and frescoes by the mannerist painter Jacopo Zucchi and the wall decorations by Balthus, restored for the occasion.
The wonderful world of Hermès collided with the spectacular, creative vision of the director and artist Robert Wilson in New York. Working together to present a surreal, off-kilter realm centered around Hermès’ home collections, the performance-driven installation, entitled ‘Here Elsewhere,’ was a captivating articulation of the label’s values.
Upon entering a prismatic, mirrored archway, guests found themselves in an abstracted home environment, adorned with Hermès furniture, flatware, home accessories and jewelry that a cast of Wilson’s performers delicately interacted with.
In the next circular room, an actress, decked out in a silver number that looked fit for the New York City Ballet stage, stood on a podium as the Hermès objects rotated around her on a 360 degree video screen to the sounds of a dramatic Philip Glass score. She was followed by another actress in a sparkling red gown, who repeated a series of dancerly movements on the podium.
Located on the same corner as the legendary Hotel des Bergues in Geneva, this 130-seat Ladurée tearoom and boutique seems to have appeared out of a fairy tale, where Marie-Antoinette meets Alice in Wonderland.
Designed by India Mahdavi, the bespoke furniture and decorative lighting are a tribute to sweetness: curved and scalloped chairs; twisting candy-stick-like tables on a graphic, black-and-white marble floor; blown-glass lamps enhancing the grass-green walls; meringue-like ceiling lights; ceramic donuts curling into the plush banquettes. Mahdavi takes us on a magical tour through an imaginary garden filled with delicacies.
Yoann Bourgeois collaborated with Louis Vuitton and the late creative director Virgil Abloh, as the Theatrical Director and Choreographer of the highly anticipated Men’s FW 2022 Shows in Paris.
Yoann created an ethereal and fantastical performance, set within a surrealistic “Dreamhouse,” while the collection unfolded on 20 performers and 67 models. Consolidating the many themes and messaging which Abloh’s eight seasons at the house discussed and brought to the table, and long fascinated by ideas of weightlessness and the physics of suspension, Yoann choreographed the acrobats to effortlessly float through the air onto a never-ending staircase and dance through the set onto a rotating bed and rooftop chimney, before models descended onto the runway.
Bourgeois’s breathtaking, poetic spectacles are an entanglement of disciplines that connect aerial choreography, dance, and acrobatics in an exploration of the constraints of one’s physical forces, counterbalanced by an indistinguishable precision and execution. It is our relationship with time and space and that is central to Bourgeois’s practice. His performances – staged within the narrative framework of his meticulously developed set designs and soundscapes – unsettle the equilibrium, but it is through this process of articulated spectacle that our humanity is brought to the fore.
Gareth Pugh designs the costumes for Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed trilogy, ‘MADDADDAM,’ performed by the National Ballet of Canada in Toronto.
MADDADDAM explores a future where technology and science are employed in the service of greed, misogyny and colonialism, holding up a mirror to the world around us, and sounding the alarm.
John Torres served as lighting designer for Fear of God’s first-ever fashion show, held in front of four thousand guests at LA’s iconic Hollywood Bowl – the first single-designer fashion show held at the venue since a 25th anniversary Calvin Klein benefit event in 1993.
A circular green screen projected clouds over the stage as models emerged silhouetted from a light-filled doorway, as if stepping out from the gates of heaven. From the champagne reception to the soulful piano performance by singer songwriter Sampha, the 58-look runway extravaganza featured parting rhymes from Pusha T and a fireworks finale.
“Fear of God lights up the Hollywood Bowl.”
This new incarnation of Claude Debussy’s only opera, staged on the 100th anniversary of his death by Opera Vlaanderen and Royal Ballet Flanders, presented a new concept in abstract staging from an all-star creative team. Based on the 1892 play by Maurice Maeterlinck, ‘Pelléas at Mélisande’ describes how innocence is able to transform into a dramatic – and deathly – love triangle.
Lending an epic element to a minimal stage concept, Marco Brambilla used original NASA footage manipulated from real photography taken by the Hubble Telescope as brushstrokes to emphasize the opera’s rhythm in a series of eclipses that travel deeper and deeper, inspired by the classic, psychedelic ‘stargate’ sequence of Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’ Having worked with NASA on a commission in 2015, Brambilla had access to a vast library of high-resolution imagery, with which he was able to render familiar shapes and objects as mesmeric, terrifying, and artful, adding dimension and advancing the narrative.
Fashion designer Iris van Herpen served as Costume Designer for this breathtaking operatic production. A former ballet dancer herself, van Herpen has also created costumes for the Paris Opera and the New York City Ballet, collaborating with the choreographer Benjamin Millepied and the Sasha Waltz dance company in Berlin.
Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn of DRIFT created a magnificent light show for the 2022 Burning Man using 1,000 drones that flew over Black Rock City. The drones formed several fluid images during the show, including a three-dimensional face, a replica of a burning wooden man, and a tribute to the late Larry Harvey, one of the festival’s founders. This magnificent show also set a Burning Man record for the most drones used during the festival.
John Torres created the light design for Drake’s concert at Apollo Theatre in New York City. The transcendent lighting during Drake’s intimate performance featured his emotionally resonant hits, reminding fans of the moments that made him one of rap’s biggest stars.
“The traditional Apollo stage was converted into a glowing box with porcelain white shutters that would open and close to reveal different backgrounds from the rapper’s different eras—from Degrassi to his Take Care era, and beyond. The detail made the performance feel like a Broadway play."
Since 2008, FENDI has supported limited edition creativity and design through its partnership with Design Miami/. To mark the 10-year anniversary of this partnership, the luxury Maison partnered with Dutch artist and Designer Sabine Marcelis to present ‘The Shapes of Water,’ a project by dedicated to rediscover water as a design tool, whose delicate beauty the designer has magnified by realizing ten fountains inspired by ten of the most iconic symbols of the historical Roman house.
Further celebrating the 10th anniversary of the ‘Peekaboo’ bag, FENDI gave Marcelis carte blanche to reinterpret the iconic style, transforming it from a white canvas version into a design masterpiece. Marcelis chose to freeze the design within a resin block, preserving a hint of functionality within this new sculptural object by only encapsulating the lower volume of the bag. The translucent resin color exaggerated the three-dimensionality of the shape frozen within.
The customized Peekaboo bags customized by Marcelis and four other international artists debuted at the FENDI boutique in the Miami Design District, displayed on special podiums in hues of yellow designed by Marcelis herself.
"It is through clean and soft lines and the use of ethereal materials such as polished resin and water in contrast with the historical travertine stone, and warm colors reminiscent of the Roman skies, that the fountains of Sabine Marcelis represent the perfect fusion between the historical, creative and aesthetic legacy of FENDI and its courage to provoke."
Iris van Herpen designed a custom look for Beyoncé for her Renaissance World Tour. ‘Beyoncé inspired me and my team in every stitch, every bead and every petal along the 700 hour journey of creating her halo-shaped gown, combining innovation and craftsmanship to magnify her motion.’
"The ensemble felt perfectly in line with all of the other metallic looks that she’s debuted on her tour thus far, while also serving as a refreshingly delicate addition to the mix."
Another exploration of her fascination with color’s mood-influencing power, India Mahdavi has teamed up with Swedish brand H&M to launch a colorful new collection that uses natural materials and bespoke ceramics to add a pop of color to everyday life.
Key pieces in the exclusive collection include a variety of alluring ceramics produced in Europe, such as iconic plates, serving bowls and vases, and exquisite Indian-woven textiles in natural materials in the form of cushions, a blanket and a large rug.
The India Mahdavi x H&M Home collection is developed from a craftsmanship perspective – making the artisanal knowledge a main focus – while also capturing the designer’s desire to democratize her work and make it accessible to everyone, transcending the luxury realm.
With gradient color plays, bright hues, and out-of-focus graphics, Mahdavi was inspired by the blinding colors you see when you close your eyes in front of the sun. This collection was conceived like a wind of optimism in a world of uncertainty.
Coco Capitán collaborated with YOOX to create the capsule collection ‘8 By Coco Capitán’ – CAPITANA.
Responsible and gender-neutral, the capsule revisits wardrobe staples – made from deadstock and low-impact materials – and contemporary home décor, reinterpreting the spirit of past messages in bottles from poets and sailors. The freedom and transcendental force of the sea are the inspiration for this sustainable collection and it is dedicated to the travelers and dreamers of the world.
"The collection is designed for travelers in search of creativity."
Dutch artist and designer Sabine Marcelis designs ‘VARMBLIXT’, a luminous new collection that explores the effects of light at home for IKEA.
Simple to the eye, the designs of the two textured, matte, and largely opaque metal lamps in VARMBLIXT are rooted in an idea from Marcelis to shape a line of light with a simple gesture. The circular lamp constitutes a complete line, top half curved slightly for light to wash onto the wall from there. To play with its design, its color also has a particular purpose.
Fusing personal experiences with a spontaneous sense of composition, Coco Capitán’s signature hand-written prose, poems and aphorisms reflect a culturally pertinent tone, defined by its oscillation between irony and sincerity, naïveté and knowingness, relativism and truth, optimism and doubt.
Catching the eye of creative director Alessandro Michele while Capitán was still in art school, Gucci featured a selection of her otherworldly musings on a limited-edition collection of apparel and accessories, which organically grew into a multi-faceted collaboration between the emerging artist and the globally recognizable luxury brand.
Taking the synergistic collaboration one step further, Capitán’s handwritten prose was celebrated with the unveiling of Gucci’s flagship store façade in Miami’s Design District, as well as text-based murals on Gucci Art Walls in Miami’s Wynwood district, on New York’s Lafayette Street, and in the Corso Garibaldi district of Milan.
Held over three days in April at a converted hangar in San Francisco’s Mission Bay, curator Neville Wakefield brought together a diverse panel of artists and trendsetters to speak candidly about their fearlessness, the thrill of invention, and the essence of bold connections as part of the Cartier Social Lab, a series of intimate conversations and events honoring the Cartier ethos and aesthetic.
The series of unforgettable talks allowed luminaries from different walks of life, including Alex Prager, Chaz Bear, Es Devlin, Leo Villareal, Larry Jackson, and David LaChapelle, to discuss their creative process, challenges and passions with Wakefield as the host and narrator.
As part of Samsung’s effort to reach young creatives in the US and Asia, Spanish artist and photographer Coco Capitán was commissioned by Hypebeast to develop a branded content campaign and 360º activation showcasing the brand’s newest tech products.
Capitán’s collaboration with Samsung reimagined the conventional brand-artist partnership and in-store shopping experience, sourcing inspiration from the artist’s visit to New York and two-week residency in Japan to create a series of aspirational films following her on her exploration of the magnificent cities through an artist’s eyes with Samsung technology in hand.
Taking over Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Harajuku store, an 8-story cutting-edge retail environment in the heart of Tokyo’s most popular shopping neighborhood, Capitán designed an immersive installation that incorporated her customized handwritten prose, art films created with the new Galaxy Note10+, and sound design into a narrative circuit installation combining innovation, inspiration and additive technology.
The fully integrated campaigns came to life across digital, film, and social media channels alongside a cutting-edge immersive multimedia store experience, a series of in-store events featuring Capitán, and limited-edition merchandise, elevating the Samsung product through her masterful storytelling and reaching Hypebeast’s influential millennial audience of 9.4 million.
Alongside notable creators such as Takashi Murakami, M. Night Shyamalan, Dave Grohl, Shantell Martin and Billie Eilish, David LaChapelle took the stage at Adobe’s annual Creativity Conference, Adobe MAX, to share an inspirational Keynote talk with the 15,000 member audience about how he found his identity as a photographer and artist and to offer advice for aspiring creatives.
For decades, CXA+ART has worked with artists, brands, and world-renowned publishing houses specializing in luxury, art, fashion, and design, such as Taschen, Assouline, and Rizzoli, to realize monographs, museum catalogues, and brand heritage books.
Recent projects have included books from Iris van Herpen, Coco Capitán, and Robert Polidori, as well as numerous publications from prolific artists such as David LaChapelle, François Halard, and Robert Wilson
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