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The first Middle Eastern museum exhibition of the artist and designer Virgil Abloh, “Figures of Speech,” will open at the Fire Station in Doha, on November 5, presented by Qatar Museums. This mid-career retrospective—originally conceived by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago—will follow the trajectory of Abloh’s widespread career and practice thus far, looking at his ventures in visual arts, fashion, architecture, music, and design through a selection of nearly 60 works.
“We are looking forward to presenting ‘Figures of Speech,’ which will trace Virgil Abloh’s inventive practice and his many achievements,” said Sheikha Reem Al Thani, the Acting Deputy CEO of Exhibitions & Marketing at Qatar Museums. “This special exhibition, combined with an extensive program of workshops and talks we have planned to complement it, is sure to inspire and engage our audiences.”
Viewers at the Fire Station’s Garage Gallery will find a presentation (debuted as part of the Qatar-USA 2021 Year of Culture program) specially tailored to fit the space with the help of the architectural and design studio AMO, who has created an immersive display of Abloh’s many creative endeavors. While Abloh’s more recent work includes the founding of fashion house Off-White and his role as the Creative Director of Louis Vuitton menswear, his background includes a longstanding passion for music, a master’s degree in architecture, and work designing and merchandising for Kanye West.
Moving beyond the idea of defined guidelines separating disciplines, the presentation will highlight an overview of his work and his most significant and pivotal projects, set across two larger, immersive displays and a more intimate space (in gallery 3), which focuses on the Black gaze. Indoors, viewers will discover works like the Lego-esque Efflorescence benches, the colorful wire-mesh Gradient Chair, and the miniature cityscape Illinois Institute of Technology Master’s Thesis Building, while outside in the courtyard are Abloh’s Inflatable Bouncy Castle and the Customized Mercedes G-Wagon, the latter of which has never been shown before.
On view through March 31, 2022, the exhibition is also accompanied by a concept store, where visitors can browse a selection of previous Off-White favorites and exclusive new items conceived with the exhibition in mind.