At this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach, Louis Vuitton will present a selection of the works that legendary Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry has produced during his wide-ranging and longstanding collaboration with the Maison. The specially designed booth in which the works will be presented embodies his trademark aesthetic and his constant experimentation with forms. Wood and cardboard models that have always been central to the architect’s design process find their form in the scenography, while five enveloping sail-like mesh structures nod to Gehry’s 2014 window displays for the Maison. Organized into four themes dear to Frank GehryArchitecture and Form, Material Exploration, Animals, and his Twisted Box creation for «Celebrating Monogram»– the objects on display include handbags, trunks, perfume bottles, original artworks, preparatory sketches, and architectural models.

The stand will notably showcase the world premiere of Louis Vuitton x Frank Gehry, a limited-edition handbag collection. The collaborative capsule is based around three themes key to Frank Gehry’s long career – Architecture and Form, Material Exploration, and Animals – and features designs based upon the Maison’s iconic Capucines bags, the Twisted Box Trunk, and a remarkable Bear With Us Clutch, based upon Gehry’s 2014 Bear with Us sculpture.

Each bag exemplifies the unique combination of Frank Gehry’s design prowess and Louis Vuitton’s remarkable craft and savoir-faire, such as a Capucines Mini Blossom with its glass-like resin petals inspired by perfume bottles and hammered LV recalling the logo he created for the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the iconic building he designed in Paris; a Capucines MM Floating Fish with painstakingly worked leather marquetry inspired by the piscine lamps on display at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, and a Capucines MM Concrete Pockets whose innovative 3D cement-effect screen-printing gives the bag’s calfskin exterior the varied textures of Frank Gehry constructions.

Another highlight of the Maison’s Art Basel Miami Beach stand is the «A Tea Party for Louis» Trunk, the architect’s distinctive creation for the 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries exhibition that celebrated Louis Vuitton’s 200th birthday. Based upon Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, his striking sculpture-trunk is a collection of eight arrestingly inventive figurines, each one resembling both a character in the book and the model of an imaginary Frank Gehry building. When brought together, the characters form what the architect describes as a tea party for the Maison’s founder.

Other Frank Gehry projects and artworks for Louis Vuitton on show include his Les Extraits perfume bottles and their unique stoppers handcrafted in Murano, Italy, and the Flaconnier Les Extraits designed to transport them, as well as a selection of sketches and models, such as preparatory drawings for his work on the «Celebrating Monogram» project and maquettes exploring his design for the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. These are accompanied by videos illustrating Gehry’s most famous collaborations with Louis Vuitton, and a painted portrait of the architect by French artist Jean-Philippe Delhomme.

Following its successful initial presence at Art Basel in Basel, Paris and Miami Beach in 2022, Louis Vuitton has become a global Associate Partner of the prestigious fair this year. This additional support further confirms the Maison’s close and committed relationship to the arts, one that began nearly a century ago when Gaston-Louis Vuitton, the founder’s grandson, began commissioning artists to collaborate with Louis Vuitton on advertisements and perfume bottles.

Since 1988, Louis Vuitton has continued this legacy by collaborating with some of the biggest names in modern art and design, including Sol LeWitt, James Rosenquist, Cesar, and Olafur Eliasson. It has curated exhibitions by artists such as Sophie Calle, Dan Flavin, Alberto Giacometti and Gerhard Richter in its Espaces Louis Vuitton, instore contemporary art spaces, and has also created innovative large-scale global art projects, such as the 2022 collaboration with Yayoi Kusama, and a capsule collection of bags, shoes, accessories, luggage, and fragrances. The Fondation Louis Vuitton, which opened in October 2014 in Paris, embodies the commitment of LVMH – and Louis Vuitton in particular – to corporate philanthropy in support of the arts and creative endeavours. The building, commissioned from Frank Gehry, is already recognised as an emblematic example of 21st-century architecture and has already welcomed millions of visitors from the entire world.

Louis Vuitton will be present at Art Basel Miami Beach in the West Lobby of the Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA. Public opening from 8th – 10th December 2023.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton
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