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Hi.

My name is Gary Zidek. Welcome to The Arts Section. Tune into the radio program every Sunday morning on WDCB 90.9 & 90.7 FM or listen to it online here. I'll be showcasing a variety of arts & entertainment, as well as.highlighting some creative ideas.

MCA's New Virgil Abloh Exhibit Explores the Dichotomies of Purists vs. Tourists

MCA's New Virgil Abloh Exhibit Explores the Dichotomies of Purists vs. Tourists

WDCB’s Gary Zidek visits the Museum of Contemporary Art’s new exhibit, VIRGIL ABLOH: “FIGURES OF SPEECH”.

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“Tourist and purist, that’s my main device to understand the sections of culture, that move culture forward. You have a purist, that’s like, I know the whole art history of everything, you can’t do this, this was done 20-times before you thought of it. Like, this is the pure institution. Then there’s the tourist, who’s bright-eyed, curiosity-driven, that has a lust for learning, and they support whatever. The goal of the exhibit was to allow a tourist, someone who’s from the outside to look at the everyday world and see the artistic value in the naturally occurring.”  - Virgil Abloh talking about some of the themes of “FIGURES OF SPEECH”. 

Virgil Abloh surrounded by fans

Virgil Abloh surrounded by fans

One of the world’s most influential and in-demand designers is the subject of a new exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

These days, Virgil Abloh spends most of his days traveling all over the world working on designs for his fashion label OFF WHITE, Louis Vuitton menswear or working on collaborations for giant brands like Nike or IKEA. But the MCA’s new exhibit VIRIGL ABLOH: “FIGURES OF SPEECH” represents a homecoming of sorts for the 38-year-old renaissance man.

Abloh was born and raised in Rockford, and then spent time in Chicago while pursuing his Master’s Degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. These days, Abloh has a part-time residence in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

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Are you a

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or a …

“I’m really hoping that people come away thinking, wow this is a major figure that we really need to keep paying attention to.” - MCA Chief Curator, Michael Darling.

MCA chief curator Michael Darling

MCA chief curator Michael Darling

“FIGURES OF SPEECH” resides on the museum’s fourth floor. Covering a span of 20 years, the exhibition explores several aspects of Abloh’s creative practice. The exhibition is organized into seven areas: Introduction, Early Work, Fashion, Music, The Black Gaze, Design and The End.      

Did someone say “shoes”?

A selection of Abloh-designed Nikes on display

A selection of Abloh-designed Nikes on display

In the “Black Gaze” section of the exhibit visitors will be greeted by a glowing neon sign that reads YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY IN THE WRONG PLACE. The sign was used in OFF-WHITE’s 2016 Fall-Winter runway show and is a reference to a line from the 1990 film PRETTY WOMAN.

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VIRGIL ABLOH: “FIGURES OF SPEECH” will be on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art through September 22. Fans of Abloh’s OFF-WHITE label can find some limited edition items at a special pop-up shop inside the museum called CHURCH AND STATE.

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