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OMA's exhibition "Dior: From Paris to the World" meets visitors under lofty Barrel Vault in Dallas

United States Architecture News - May 17, 2019 - 00:55   583 views

OMA's exhibition

OMA is set to tavel its exhibition for Dior, which was displayed at the Denver Art Museum last year, to a new place at the Dallas Museum of Art in the Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas. 

Completely designed with a new narrative, a set of different themed-rooms will meet visitors with infinite "catwalks" where the relationship of the viewer and the subject is inverted. The exhibition will open to the public on May 19, 2019 and will be on view until September 1, 2019 at Dallas Museum of Art. 

The exhibition will trace Dior’s history as well as its influences and inspirations through a feature selection of almost 200 haute couture dresses, as well as accessories, photographs, original sketches, runway videos and other archival material.

OMA's exhibition

Designed by OMA New York Partner Shohei Shigematsu, the exhibition is taking a new form, which  is conceived from a contextual approach. The exhibition design draws upon the context of the Dallas Arts District and the impressive modernist architecture of the DMA.  

Organized by DAM and curated by Florence Müller (DAM’s Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Fashion), the Dallas presentation is curated by Sarah Schleuning, Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design). 

The exhibition, titled Dior: From Paris to the World, which surveys more than 70 years of the House of Dior’s legacy and global influence, will now feature a selection of new looks from Dior, including vintage couture by Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, and updated works from Italian fashion designer Maria Grazia Chiuri, which will be seen for the first time in the Dallas presentation. 

OMA's exhibition

Located at the terminus of Flora Street, the exhibition takes place in Edward Larrabee Barnes’ building, within a lofty Barrel Vault and its adjacent Quad Galleries. 

OMA imagined The Barrel Vault as an extension of Flora Street, with a direct entrance from outside. The signature theme of the exhibition is staged within this space, which is uniquely large enough to display the diverse range Dior’s garments continuously.

Barnes took reference from Claude Ledoux’s visionary architecture when conceiving the Barrel Vault. OMA’s design embraces the clean, geometric design and enhances its grandeur. Within the gallery the vault form is mirrored along both the X and Y axes, establishing an extension of its geometry to create an infinite "catwalk". 

OMA's exhibition

"This stage for exhibition draws upon Christian Dior’s Fall 1999 Couture show at Versailles l’Orangerie, where the runway took place under its lofty vaulted ceiling. But here, we invert the relationship between the viewer and the subject. The visitors pass through the “catwalk” and the mannequins act as spectators," said OMA in a project description.

OMA's exhibition

OMA re-sequenced curatorial themes for a new narrative for the retrospective. A number of themes are organized to the museum context: the Office of Dreams is placed in a transept gallery, resonating with the geometric Ellsworth Kelly sculpture in the adjacent courtyard and Splendors of the XVIII Century is placed opposite, drawing continuity from the permanent exhibition of European works.

OMA's exhibition

Shohei Shigematsu designed a clear sequential route that is defined by a prescribed route. After entering through the façade of the Dior Paris atelier and the Revolutionary New Look that marks the beginning of the brand, they are taken through a polycarbonate tunnel leading to the first set of rooms to then emerge at the dramatic reveal of the Barrel Vault midway through the exhibition. 

This sequence is followed by three additional rooms that explore additional themes that served as an inspiration to the house of Dior, and the work of Dior shown through photographs and accessories.

OMA's exhibition

"The Barrel Vault’s dramatic dimensions inspired us to conceive a design that activates its public potential and emphasizes its spatial character," said OMA Partner Shohei Shigematsu.

"Our design for the central space simultaneously acts as a new street within the Arts District and experiments with the ways in which fashion is perceived. Flipping the narrative of the relationship between viewer and viewed poses an interesting discussion among architecture, fashion and the spectator."

OMA's exhibition

"The House of Dior has been a legendary force in fashion and visual culture for decades and continues to be an important influence that blurs the lines between fashion and art," said Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. 

"Dallas has long recognized the artistic significance of Dior, most notably when in 1947, early in his career, Christian Dior traveled here to receive the Neiman Marcus Award for distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion. We are excited to welcome this innovative creative voice back to our city and to offer DMA audiences the opportunity to be inspired by the remarkable legacy of a global icon."

OMA's exhibition

"The history and impact of The House of Dior is the result of a convergence of several artistic directors who have made visionary, yet distinct, contributions to the French haute couture house," said Sarah Schleuning, The Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the DMA. 

"The exhibition takes audiences through more than seven decades of innovation, bringing together the most exciting, dynamic, and pivotal pieces."

OMA's exhibition

Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. 

At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 24,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. 

Dior: From Paris to the World will open in Dallas on May 19 and will be on view until September 1, 2019. 

All images © James Florio, courtesy of OMA 

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