• Stages_2
  • Stages_5
  • Stages_1
  • Tom_sachs
  • Stages_6
  • Stages_3
  • Stages_4
Graphic Design

Nike Stages

Posted by Alex Bec,

Last week we were invited to Paris for something a little bit special. Set in the breathtakingly elegant Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Nike opened the doors on their Stages exhibition, in support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The project is the brainchild of Mark Parker (CEO of Nike Inc.) and Lance Armstrong (7 time Tour de France winner), collating a set of 21 elite (yet very diverse) artists all under one roof. A tricky task succinctly executed. This week we’ll be bringing you a daily article on the show, acknowledging the attention the show demands.

As you walk down the cobbled streets of east Paris and into the leafy, unassuming courtyard of the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, you get the feeling you’re going to be shown something to remember. The setting is exquisite, however, as soon as you step into the polished concrete floor of the opening room you’re completely immersed and your surroundings become somewhat irrelevant.

If you’re not being humbled by the story behind Shepard Fairey’s newest canvas, or marveling at the craft and ingenuity of Dzine’s Tipping Point bike, then you’re probably circling the specially created sculpture by Geoff McFetridge or scrutinising the mystifying detail of a Gursky photograph – Stages truly offers up something for everyone to appreciate.

In the his own words, each artist was asked to create work that was “inspired by Lance and dedicated to the fight against cancer” and it’s plain to see the vision has been realised. We’re not just talking about pretty pictures hung on walls, but poignant issues tackled with heartfelt honesty in a whole host of different ways – each one a success in it’s own right.

Let’s not forget though that the show exists to aid the Lance Armstong Foundation, whether that be directly with the fee bid for the pieces, or educating a new audience on their mission, Nike are most certainly supporting something wholly worthwhile with total poise and style.

We quizzed Mark Parker while we looked around and couldn’t have hoped for a more sincere account of how important the show is to him and Lance Armstrong.

Firstly, congratulations on a great show, can you tell us a little about your involvement in the project?

Well I was involved with Lance in the idea for the show. We met last year in September, when he decided to come back for the tour and we were just kicking around some ideas on what we could do to bring attention to the fight against cancer. We both collect art and are really interested in artists and commissioning so we thought it’d be great to take 21 artists, one for each stage of the tour and commission work that would be inspired by Lance’s battle with cancer. There was no more of a brief than that. We didn’t want to direct the artists, but let them do what they wanted to. We wanted a range of artists – high end, world recognised artists, some are also good friends of mine and Lance…

Did you know all twenty-one before you started the project or did you find some along the way?

No I didn’t, and neither did Lance… Obviously I knew most of their work, but didn’t know them personally. We wanted a real diversity – not just any one category and I think it’s worked out really well. We are very grateful to the artists and everyone has been incredibly enthusiastic.

Are there plans to do more of these shows for other causes?

Well we have a longstanding relationship with Lance that goes way back to before he was diagnosed cancer. We like to do creative things together and we’re very committed to the cause of the foundation. We have a few other things to focus on as a company, not too many because we like to focus and go deep and make a difference with fewer things rather than load up with loads of causes and just skim the surface. We’ll always be looking for creative, innovative ways to bring attention to important causes like this – not your typical, traditional ways but try and bring a new way of thinking – mix it up a little bit. I personally love taking different cultures and bringing them together – cross pollinating people and ideas. Some of the most interesting things come out of that and I love being in a position to help be a catalyst to that.

That’s obviously highlighted in this show, to get a line-up of contemporary artists all in one exhibition like this is very impressive.

Yeah, it’s unheard of. Unprecedented. A lot of these artists would have never shown together in a group like this. The artists showing were born in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and the 80s, so they span six decades. From the street all the way up to high-end. I like that we’re not categorising – it’s open. We’re very comfortable with what we’re doing and the fact that we’re breaking some new ground can only be good for art….

For more pictures from the show head over to the dedicated Stages website and look out for more posts from us between now and Friday, focusing on the work itself in a little more detail.

Stages
July 17 – August 8
Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin
76 rue de Turenne 75003 Paris
T : +33 (0)1 42 16 79 79
Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 7pm

Ab-300

Posted by Alex Bec

Alex is one of the directors of It’s Nice That who now oversees our sister creative agency INT Works. For several years he oversaw the Monday Morning Music Video feature until it came to an end in 2014.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. Ellakru-painting-7home-int

    Latvia-born Ella Kruglyanskaya now lives and works in New York, depicting cartoon-like friends and “frienemies” out-and-about in large-scale oil paintings and murals. Ella’s work is packed with bawdy humour, exaggerated forms, exuberant mark-making and interactions. She describes her intention as “pictorial events… [that] aspire to an unspoken punch line” – the content, references and line-work all filtered through comedy.

  2. Anniedescarteaux-collage-7home-int

    Annie Descôteaux’s work is confident, engaging and straight-forwardly slapstick. The Montreal-based artist works with installation, drawing and collage and has seen her work exhibited and discussed at conferences on colour theory. In equally impressive outings, it’s also appeared in Bloomberg and Pica magazines, among other publications. Annie’s collage work is well-balanced with clean lines, sharp colours and discreet humour; each piece littered with raw steak, fried eggs and shuttlecocks.

  3. Oliviervrancken-untitled-1-inthome

    Olivier Vrancken is a graphic designer and artist based in Holland. Painting and drawing his way through commissions and personal work, he is inspired by everything from primitive art to the great lyricists that are Black Sabbath. Olivier has exhibited all over Europe, his Cubist aesthetic and visual references laden with nods to cut-outs, still life, architecture and the human form. There’s a great colour palette to his work and some nice titles like Bad Hair Day and Wanderlust. Olivier’s work reminds me of the prints that appeared all over the T-shirts of the 1980s, in a good way.

  4. Menutnutnut-drawing-4-int

    Me nut nut nut was one of Jason Murphy’s daughter’s first utterances, and is now the name for his drawings of awkward stories of fear and incompetence. Inspired by the physical comedy of The Young Ones and The Ren & Stimpy Show, Jason’s drawings rely on comic intuition and references to real-life moments, like dropping a potato on his cat.

  5. Seamus_murhpy_pj-harvey_-recording-in-progress_-2015.-an-artangel-commission.-_1_int

    While we wait to take our turn to become a sort of strangely sanctioned voyeur as PJ Harvey records her ninth album, thinking about what’s ahead feels peculiar. Essentially, we’re going to see PJ (Polly Jean) Harvey, her band, producers Flood and John Parish, a photographer and two engineers making an album in a Something & Son-designed box, formed of glass that allows visitors to see in, while the musicians can’t see out.

  6. Atelierbingo-list-int

    Up to the point when I opened Atelier Bingo’s new zine Wogoo Zoogi I’d never wondered what two aliens in heated conversation might look like. Having had a read I can now confirm that the answer is “they are speaking, singing very strangely, and they have a hair on their tongues." The newest bout of work from French illustration and surface design duo Adèle Favreau and Maxime Prou is a wonderful celebration of playful, dynamic, abstract art; blending shapes, colours and patterns in a glorious puddle of chaos thinly disguised as alien chat. In fact, it’s everything we’ve been led to expect from the pair, who we’ve dolloped praise on in the past.

  7. Faigahmed-carpets-list-2-int

    Faig Ahmed is an Azerbaijani artist doing remarkable things with carpets. He takes traditional Azerbaijani rugs – enormous, beautiful intricate creations – un-weaves them, and reconstructs them to create new patterns and shapes, subverting traditional usage of rugs as domestic objects to be walked all over, and rejuvenating them with optical illusions and techniques reminiscent of contemporary internet art. 

  8. Slavs_tatars-loveletters-home-int

    The work of Slavs & Tatars is awash with unlikely cultural references, balloons, archives and carpets. Identifying “the area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China” as the focus of their work, their projects are generous, engaging and genre-crossing. Starting as a reading group before shifting into making their own work, Slavs & Tatars have recently been working on a continuation of their Long Legged Linguistics project, a multi-faceted study of language as a source of emancipation. The somewhat secretive collective were kind enough to tell us more about this and their “bazaar” approach to making work.

  9. Davidbatchelor-october-13-int

    If you go down to the Whitechapel Gallery anytime between now and early April you’ll be sure to come across a huge breadth of work chronicling the adventures of the black square, from 1915 all the way up to the present day. It’s fairly monochromatic, as you might expect. Upstairs, however, things get drastically more colourful – especially once you come to David Batchelor’s specially “disrupted” issue of October, one of the most respected art journals out there, first published in 1976 and edited by esteemed writers Michel Foucault, Richard Foreman and Noël Burch.

  10. Alexdacorte-easternsport-1-int

    Perennial student artist Alex Da Corte has qualifications, residencies and awards coming up to his eyeballs having studied Film, Animation and Fine Arts at New York’s School of Visual Arts, Printmaking and Fine Arts at The University of the Arts, Philadelphia and then a cheeky MFA in Sculpture at Yale. Busy guy!

  11. Duane_hanson_-_karma3

    Karma Books have just published a catalogue of Duane Hanson’s post-humous exhibition Flea Market Lady. Shown at New York’s Gagosian Gallery, Duane’s flea market ladies are taken from real-life characters and cast in bronze. An incredible feat of observation and skill, his work captures the character of his models and creates a very real atmosphere of flea-ing. Karma have kindly let us publish an extract from the imaginary conversation Maurizio Cattelan has with the artist in the foreword to the book:

  12. Hdl5_copy

    Hubert de Lartigue paints photo-realistic portraits that “serve the beauty” of his models, and his muse. He considers “emotion and soul” the most important part of a painting and spoke to us about his working process, inspiration and the impact of his muse, Octavie.

  13. Main_10.00.34

    If I won the lottery I’d open a gallery, and when I opened my gallery I’d totally rip off everything that David Kordansky Gallery does. From the big stuff like the very well-curated, cool list of artists they represent, to the impeccable printed matter they produce, to the matter of their easily navigable and well designed website – these guys are celebrating people’s work in the best way possible.