Virgil Abloh debuts major furniture collection for Paris design studio Galerie Kreo, focusing on concrete and the expression of the street
It seems that cultural-disturber Virgil Abloh has a concrete plan for Paris-based design laboratory Galerie Kreo, in the launch of his third major furniture collection, Efflorescence.
His first collection for the gallery, it’s also Galerie Kreo’s debut street culture exhibition. In it, tables, consoles, seats and vases are swathed in Abloh’s free-hand graffiti streaks. As founder and creative director of streetwear label Off-White, Abloh aficionados will notice familiar marks emblazoned on his previous collaboration with Gore-Tex.
The furniture collection’s 20 architecturally-aligned pieces draw a focus on concrete in its pure form, questioning how a material interacts within our natural and artificial environments. Pieces are indented with perfectly shaped cavities, creating a sense of organised destruction. Each work within the collection has been specially hand tagged, with neon sprays of Abloh’s city-like graffiti.
‘To me, design always has the inherent idea of being a bridge from the past, with an eye towards the future’ — Virgil Abloh
The most impressive piece in Efflorescence is Bench 2, a skate ramp-esque seating solution measuring almost three-metres-long. Another of Abloh’s excavating offerings include Mirror 1, a slab of thick-cut glass which seems reminiscent of a cheese knife; corners are rounded while circular-cut recesses seem irregularly appropriate.
Chair 1 and Chair 3 seem pared-back: simple concrete cubes feature a sharp ridged back with indents and a graffiti motif. ‘Here, the heritage of brutalism, its forms and ideas, are literally perforated, extruded to serve as a pedestal for the creative expression of the street,’ says Abloh.
Although last year saw Abloh taking a break from his hectic work cycle and techno disk-jockeying, it’s clear he’s back with bite. Next week sees both the Off-White and Louis Vuitton menswear shows, which we’re sure to see more of his street culture flair come into play.