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March 21 saw Louis Vuitton unveil “Mutation” in Hong Kong, the first solo exhibition from French photographer Stéphane Couturier. Curated by William Zhao, the show displays key works taken from Couturier’s “Melting Point,” “Landscaping,” and “Urban Archeology” series, accompanied by a new series of photographs and videos mapping the architectural themes and details of the Frank Gehry-designed Louis Vuitton Foundation For Creation in Paris.
The photographs taken from Couturier’s “Melting” series, are perhaps his best known works and turn some of the world’s most familiar cityscapes on their heads, from San Diego’s Olympic Parkway to Parallel Avenue in Barcelona. By flattening and editing down images of urban life and modernization Couturier echoes the way in which urban landscapes literally mutate between construction and destruction. With Barcelone – Parallel no.1 (2008) Couturier “melted” two disparate images together in order to highlight the evolution of today’s urban landscape, creating what he describes as a “hybrid” visual approach.
Alongside this, his collaboration with Louis Vuitton provides us with a first glimpse at Frank Gehry’s Louis Vuitton Foundation For Creation through photographs and videos of intricate architectural details and themes that connect structural elements to pieces of jewelry. Gehry’s remarkable structure is located within the Bois de Boulogne public park in Paris and is due to open in 2014.
Louis Vuitton has a strong history of collaborating with artists like James Turrell, Olafur Eliasson, and Takashi Murakami. Couturier, an artist who travels the world to explore the growth and transformation of modern architecture, joins that company seamlessy, as Louis Vuitton is renowned for creating iconic luxury luggage for the intrepid traveler.
Stephane Couturier (b.1957) was born in Neuilly sur Seine, France and currently lives and works in Paris. Couturier began his career as an art photographer in Paris in the early 1990s and has since made significant bodies of works in Dresden, Berlin, Seoul, Moscow, Beijing, and Havana. His photographs have been featured at many international venues, including the Moscow Biennale; the ICP triennial, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Couturier’s work resides in major museums and collections worldwide, including The Museum of Photographic Arts , USA; The Art Institute of Chicago, USA; The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA; Landes Museum, Austria; Assemblée Nationale, Paris; Israel Museum; and Museum Nacional da Republica, Brazil.