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'At Close Range: Kostas Murkudis and the Museum für Moderne Kunst Collection' opens in Frankfurt
John Chamberlain, Funburn, 1967 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011; Foto: Axel Schneider.

FRANKFURT.- Fashion presented not on the catwalk but in gallery rooms, new collections created not for sale but as unique specimens, fashion shows that take place in museums… The boundaries between fashion and art are becoming increasingly fluid. A fashion designer who has already been working at this interface for many years is Kostas Murkudis. The MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst is soon be devoting a comprehensive exhibition to him at its new branch, the MMK 2. Through new forms of presentation that undermine the fashion world’s traditional standards, but also through designs that encompass performative, sculptural and conceptual aspects, Murkudis’s work changes our perspective on fashion.

In 2013, Kostas Murkudis donated three of his collections dating from 2010–12 to the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main. That gift marks the point of departure for the extensive presentation at the MMK 2 that stages Murkudis’s œuvre in the context of the visual arts. The exhibition architecture and displays are being designed by the artist Carsten Nicolai.

“Artistic ideas and approaches have always contributed decisively to shaping Murkudis’s work. The interrelationships are manifest in his sculptural conception of fashion, his investigation of threedimensional materials, his artistic practice and the presentation forms he chooses, which differ distinctly from the conventional fashion show”, comments Peter Gorschlüter, deputy director of the MMK and curator of the exhibition.

Beginning in 1986, Kostas Murkudis worked closely with the designer Helmut Lang for many years before producing his first own collection in 1994. Over the past two decades he has collaborated with many international labels, and along with Karl Lagerfeld, Jil Sander and Wolfgang Joop he is one of the few German designers to have attained international fame. Since presenting a fashion show with Carsten Nicolai within the framework of the exhibition “Not in Fashion” in 2010, he has cooperated with the video and sound artist on numerous projects. In recent years, Murkudis has designed his own collections exclusively as unica – in essence artistic originals that he does not subject to industrial production and merchandising. His own comprehensive research and the visible influence of architecture are further aspects that surface again and again in his work. Within that context, many of his ideas and designs make reference to contemporary artistic practice. In Carsten Nicolai’s exhibition design for the MMK show, selected Murkudis collections, individual projects and works emerging within the context of the collection developments are shown in a new light, permitting insights into this multifaceted designer’s extensive œuvre.

For the show at the MMK 2, Kostas Murkudis has moreover explored the connections between his designs and major works in the MMK Collection and curated a presentation of those works on that basis. This presentation features concepts and forms of painting, performance, the ready-made and sculpture, as well as further phenomena and approaches that have preoccupied artsists such as John Chamberlain, Jack Goldstein, Steven Parrino or Yves Klein since the 1960s. Photographic works by Mark Borthwick and Juergen Teller, but also artistic concepts that explore textiles in a wide range of different ways, for example works by Blinky Palermo, Sigmar Polke and Franz Erhard Walther, are also be showcased in dialogue with Murkudis’s collections and individual creations.

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