Martin MARGIELA "Kit (black)", 2020, Silicone, polyurethane foam core and steel, Ed. 2/3 80,0 x 62,7 x 11,4 cm Photo Credits: Peter Cox
Martin MARGIELA "Kit (black)", 2020, Silicone, polyurethane foam core and steel, Ed. 2/3 80,0 x 62,7 x 11,4 cm Photo Credits: Peter Cox Silicone, polyurethane foam core and steel, Ed. 2/3 80,0 x 62,7 x 11,4 cm Photo Credits: Peter Cox

Awakening the Inanimate: Martin Margiela’s Artistic Odyssey

The Bernier/Eliades Gallery is delighted to unveil a compelling double solo exhibition by the Belgian artist Martin Margiela, simultaneously in Athens and Brussels. This showcase delves deep into Margiela’s eclectic visual artistry, traversing painting, sculpture, installation, collage, and film. Margiela, renowned for his transformative approach, finds poetry in the overlooked, breathing life into the mundane with a touch of the surreal.

Martin MARGIELA “Red Steps III”, 2023, Carpet on canvas on wooden frame, 191,5 x 111,5 cm  Photo Credits: We Document Art

Margiela’s art is a testament to his belief in the perpetual evolution of objects, fascinated by the marks left by time. His inspirations are as varied as the human form, the textures of skin and hair, and the urban landscape—a boundless source of fascination. His works are a dedication to the unexpected, marrying his extraordinary material sensibility with a penchant for the unseen.

There’s a romanticism in Margiela’s radicalism, reminiscent of Alphonse de Lamartine’s musings on the soulful essence of inanimate objects. Margiela revives dormant entities, accentuating their distinctiveness and restoring their lost stature. His series, such as “Shore Shoes” and “Barriers”, transform neglected items into objects of desire, challenging perceptions and conventions.

Martin MARGIELA –“Black Nails Model”, 2021,  Nymphenburg porcelain, enamel, Ed. 3/5-(edition of 5 + AP) – Photo Credits: Peter Cox

“Steps” is a remarkable series where Margiela repurposes carpet in an unconventional manner, creating optical illusions that defy traditional painting’s boundaries. This work emphasizes depth, color, and illusion, engaging viewers from afar.

Margiela also explores the human body, dissecting it into parts for contemplation and reimagining. His “Torsos” series and the playful “Kits” of silicone body parts challenge traditional exhibition norms and our viewing habits. In “Vanitas”, he reflects on the inevitability of aging, using hair as a poignant symbol of time’s passage.

The “Tops & Bottoms” series presents a modern reinterpretation of classical forms, questioning the dichotomies of clothed versus unclothed and the essence of form. Margiela extends his innovative approach to the human face with the “Smoke” series, employing lithophany to create evocative portraits that only reveal their depth under backlighting.

Margiela’s journey from the fashion industry to visual arts has been marked by a consistent push against boundaries. After founding Maison Martin Margiela and leaving a significant mark on fashion, he turned his focus entirely to art in 2009. His work, which has been exhibited in major art museums worldwide, continues to challenge and inspire.

The exhibitions open in Athens on March 7 and in Brussels on March 14, 2024, offering a unique opportunity to experience the depth and diversity of Margiela’s artistic vision. Through his work, Margiela invites us to see beyond the surface, to find beauty and meaning in the transformation and the traces left behind by time.

Brussels : 46 Rue du Châtelain – 1050
Athens: 11 Eptachalkou Street, GR-118 51

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