A new exhibition featuring the globe-spanning designs of Es Devlin will be on display at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York this fall along with a series of talks and other public programming focused on the constantly shifting perspectives that have defined her work over the past thirty years.
The event breaks down into three main segments: a replica of the designer’s London studio, with wall projections featuring a timeline of her career; a gallery archive of her drawings and other artwork, also featuring wall projections and a narrative in her own voice; and a final library gallery filled with texts that have informed her work since the very beginning.
A film showcasing Es Devlin’s installation process and performance works is also included in one of the third-floor galleries, along with a 900-page companion publication from Thames & Hudson that includes another 120 projects along with texts from her many varied collaborators. It is the first monographic exhibition of the British polymath to be held by a major institution. The museum says its staging will yield “thematic connections and trace the development of her groundbreaking ephemeral architectures.”
In a press statement, Lipps added the exhibition will “reveal the remarkable breadth, rigor and iterative process underlying Devlin’s transformative, multidisciplinary work.”
“I have spent 30 years translating words into images and spaces — transforming texts on a page into kinetic sculptures that encompass viewers with light and song and use magic to alter their perspective,” Devlin said finally in a preview.
“My craft is to imagine worlds that don’t yet exist, to invite audiences to practice ‘interbeing’ within psychological architectures they have not previously inhabited, to remind viewers that they are not separate but connected to one another and to the biosphere. For this exhibition, I have gathered the drawings, fragile paper sculptures and small-scale revolving cardboard models that I and my studio team have been making over the past three decades, a miniature parallel practice at the root of the large-scale public performance and installation works.”
An Atlas of Es Devlin opens November 18th and will remain on view through August 11, 2024.
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