curated by Michiko Kono
organised by the Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo in collaboration with the Espaces Louis Vuitton Paris and München
For the first time, the Espaces Louis Vuitton München, Paris and Tokyo present an exhibition devoted to the same theme. Entitled Le fil rouge, the joint show brings together existing and newly produced works by eight contemporary artists who, each in his or her own particular way, employ thread as a prime medium or concept. In German and French, the term ‘le fil rouge’, ‘the red thread’ meaning itself a “guiding idea that links together“, the thread is the recurrent theme running through the entire exhibition, linking the three venues.
Unlike pencil and paint, thread is not linked to an intrinsic finality, and its materiality encourages infinite artistic expressions and explorations. Replacing the brush, thread in contemporary art is embroidered or glued onto the image carrier, and combined with paint. Canvas fragments are sewn together using thread. By stretching lengths of yarn at different scales and in varied configurations, it is employed to form sculptures, trace lines in space, reproduce architectural principles or seemingly suspend the laws of physics. Many of the exhibiting artists do not work exclusively with thread, but revert to it as a medium that offers a broad spectrum of applications and is easy to handle. The exhibition illustrates how the thread can take on a multitude of different forms.
Although the theme is single, each location showcases its independent interpretation. The show in Munich is dedicated to embroidery-based works by Ghada Amer, Tracey Emin and Michael Raedecker (until April 11). The Espace in Paris presents site-specific installations by Isa Melsheimer, Fred Sandback and Chiharu Shiota (until May 3). The Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo concludes the collaboration with a summary of the topic, presenting paintings by Ghada Amer and Michael Raedecker, an installation by Tatiana Trouvé and a new film by Hans Op de Beeck, commissioned for this exhibition, which is on display at all three venues.
Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York
Photo: Brian Buckley
Born in Cairo in 1963, lives in New York. Study of Art at the School of the museum of Fine Arts, Boston, graduate of the École nationale supérieure d’art de la Villa Arson, Nice, futher studies at the Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques, Paris. Awarded the UNESCO Prize in 1999. Participant in the Venice Biennale, the Whitney Biennial, the Gwangju Biennale and the the Sydney Biennale. Exhibitions (selection) at the Brooklyn Museum, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, the De Apple Arts Center.
©Christophe Vander Eecken
Hans Op de Beeck
Born in Turnhout (Belgium) in 1969, lives in Brussels. Graduate in Visual Arts from the Higher Institute Sint-Lucas, Brussels, further studies at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts Flanders, Antwerp, and at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. Awarded the Prix de la Jeune Peinture belge in 2001 and the Catholic University of Leuven Prize of Culture in 2009. Participant in the Shanghai Biennale, the Singapore Biennale, the Aichi Triennale and the Chengdu Biennale. Exhibitions (selection) at the Hirshhorn Museum, the Palais de Tokyo and the Kunstmuseum, Bonn.
Photo: Josh Wright
Born in Amsterdam in 1963, lives in London. Graduate in Fashion Design from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, further studies in Art at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam and at Goldsmiths College, London. Shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2000. Exhibitions (selection) at the Sprengel Museum, the Gemeentemuseum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Basel, the Carré d’Art – Musée d’art contemporain, Nîmes, the Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville.
Photo: Laurent Edeline
Born in Cosenza (Italy) in 1968, lives in Paris. Study of Art at the École nationale supérieure d’art de la Villa Arson, Nice, and in the Netherlands. Awarded the Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2007 and the Prix d’art contemporain ACACIA in 2014. Participant in the Venice Biennale and the Sao Paulo Biennale. Exhibitions (selection) at the Kunstmuseum, Bonn, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Mamco – Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Geneva.
Color Misbehavior, 2009
Embroidery and gel medium on canvas, 178×150cm
Photo: Coutesy Cheim & Read, New York,
© JASPAR, Tokyo, 2015
I paint, sculpt, draw and do outdoor installations; I explore different mediums simultaneously. I use embroidery as one of my mediums. I “write” painting in the feminine because I believe that painting is a language invented by men. I am fascinated by the dichotomy of “high” versus “low”, art versus craft, figurative versus abstract. I examine the divide between the masculine history of oil painting and the traditional domestic activities of women. I blur as well as emphasize these differences.
Hans Op de Beeck
The Thread, 2015
Full HD video, sound
Work with the support of Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo
Courtesy of the Artist and Galleria Continua, Les Moulins
Photo: Still taken from the videowork The Thread,
© JASPAR, Tokyo, 2015
A Chinese proverb says that an invisible thread connects those destined to meet, despite time, place and circumstances. The thread can be tightened or tangled, but will never be broken. Taking this clear and simple metaphor as my starting point, I created a video as a visual love poem about a punk girl and boy who grow old together. Love and death here go hand in hand. The film refers both formally and thematically to the traditional Japanese Bunraku theatre, where black-clad puppet masters operating large puppets perform a tragic (love) story.
Acrylic and thread on fabric, 224×189cm
Photo: Peter White
Courtesy: The Artist and Galerie Max Hetzler,
Berlin | Paris
Contradictory musings can create a delicate, intriguing balance, extending an invitation to work with them and to explore further. Embroideries appeal to me because of this: they look intricate and complex to produce; making them, however, is one of the simplest techniques around. Penetrating the linen again and again, again and again, again and again, again and again. This craft contrives to attract and puzzle the viewer, and creates an ideal interplay in mixing the high with the low, the banal with the original, the everyday with the uncanny. The needle goes front to back, back to front, front to back, back to front – a time-line zig-zagging with one thread, going in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, a stitch that reveals and conceals.
250 Points Towards Infinity, 2009
Plumb lines, magnets, metal, 850×700×700cm
Courtesy: Galerie Perrotin
350 Points Towards Infinity, exhibition view: A Stay Between Enclosure and Space, Migros Museum, Zurich/2009, Photo: Stefan Altenburger, © JASPAR, Tokyo, 2015
350 Points Towards Infinity, exhibition view: I tempi doppi, Kunsthalle Nürnberg/2014, Photo: Annette Kradisch, © JASPAR, Tokyo, 2015
The work that I do on space, in my installations, is determined by the creation of physical laws different from those that permeate and constitute our reality. I imagine magnetic sectors or extraordinary atmospheric densities, speeds which, in their turn, sculpt forms, at times by contradicting the laws of gravity, by sending materials and objects soaring towards the ceiling, by deforming or compressing them, but also by fixing them in free fall or in equilibrium.