FROM 17 SEPTEMBER 2022 TO 29 JANUARY 2023
The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech is mounting an exhibition devoted to the cartographer and illustrator of Morocco, Théophile-Jean Delaye, from Saturday, September 17, 2022 through Sunday, January 15, 2023.
This exhibition is the fruit of a partnership agreement, signed in June 2020 between the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (Mucem) in Marseille and the Fondation Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech.
The exhibition, which was conceived by a special partnership with the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (Mucem) in Marseille, retraces Théophile-Jean Delaye’s years in Morocco through a selection of 120 works, a significant number of which hail from the Mucem’s collections. The museum acquired these works from the artist’s descendants in April 2019.
The exhibition also benefits from a generous loan of artworks from the artist’s family. In the 1930s, Théophile-Jean Delaye was the first cartographer to scientifically map the mountains of southern Morocco, in particular
the Toubkal massif. His prolific pictorial work is as much characterized by a scientific approach as by an aesthetic one.
Born in the Dauphiné region of France, at the foot of the Alps, Théophile-Jean Delaye was captivated by high mountains from a very young age. All his books, and every article he published in the Revue de géographie
du Maroc between 1930 and 1940, clearly show that he was interested in the mountains not only as a cartographer, but also as a mountaineer, or “rock climber,” as he would call himself.
His deep affinity for the mountains of Morocco gave him the determination to preserve them: In 1942, he was instrumental in the creation of the Toubkal Natural Park, the first Moroccan natural park, which in time became the Toubkal National Park. He also established the Moroccan chapter of the French Alpine Club, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year.
This scientific approach to mountains was not without an aesthetic dimension that he expressed in his artwork, whether through drawings or paintings.
Exhibition curators : Mireille Jacotin, François Larbre
Exhibition design : Jasmin Oezcebi
Théophile-Jean Delaye’s Morocco (1896–1970)
Yves Saint Laurent
Due to this great success, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech is pleased to announce that the exhibition “A Moroccan Friendship : Tamy Tazi – Fernando Sanchez – Yves Saint Laurent” will be extended until 31 July 2022.
FROM 16 OCTOBER 2021 TO 31 JULY 2022
The remarkable exhibition opening soon at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech explores the friendship and spheres of inspiration shared by three couturiers: Tamy Tazi, Fernando Sanchez (1935-2006) and Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008). All three had the same passion for Morocco, its colors, its exuberance and its rich ancestral heritage.
This exhibition is the first to look through their eyes while evoking the key moments of a creative dialogue that began at the end of the 1960s. It brings together a number of major works that are among the most representative of their pursuits, their experimentation and fellowship.
They were close friends who were passionately interested in the decorative and applied arts of Morocco, and fascinated by the Kingdom’s colors, “its forceful harmonies, brazen fusions and feverish creativity.” (Yves Saint Laurent). They were particularly attentive to “the mysterious streets of Marrakech,” (Fernando Sanchez), and to this city that “introduced them to color” (Yves Saint Laurent). Their passion for this “wonderful unknown” city would bring them together regularly.
The exhibition’s aim is to open a mirror onto their friendship and the passion for Morocco that inspired them. The revealing words of Yves Saint Laurent seem to echo throughout the exhibition: “Although accustomed to the light and the colors of North Africa, it was later, when I discovered Morocco, that I realized that the range of colors I use was that of the zelliges, zouacs, djellabas and caftans. The boldness seen since then in my work, I owe to this country, to its forceful harmonies, its daring combinations, the fervor of its creativity. This culture became mine, but I wasn’t satisfied with absorbing it; I took, transformed and adapted it.” (1983)
In the winter of 1966, Yves Saint Laurent visited Marrakech for the first time. It was love at first sight. From then on, until the end of his career, he would travel to Morocco several times a year for rest and relaxation, and to design his collections. A year earlier, in 1965, Tamy Tazi appeared in the pages of the influential fashion magazine, Vogue, as a symbol of Moroccan elegance and modernity. She became one of Yves Saint Laurent’s first friends in Morocco. Fernando Sanchez and Yves Saint Laurent met as young men at the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne and remained close friends all their lives. While living in Casablanca, New York and Paris respectively, Tamy Tazi, Fernando Sanchez and Yves Saint Laurent would regularly meet up in Marrakech, sharing the same fascination for the richness of the Moroccan decorative repertoire.
Yves Saint Laurent emphatically affirmed the influence that Morocco had on his work. He knew how to take advantage of, reinvent, and create a new feminine silhouette using the burnous, the saroual, and other traditional clothing from the Moroccan man’s wardrobe. His color palette, which combined vibrant, warm tones with more restrained colors, was also influenced by what he saw in Morocco. In his work, the dazzling colors of Marrakech confront each other: pink, red, yellow, but also muted colors such as beige, earth tones and navy blue. It is worth noting that Yves Saint Laurent, before discovering Morocco, attached a greater importance to the color black in his collections.
To fully appreciate the rich and abundant itinerary of Yves Saint Laurent’s work, one must take into account his forty-year friendship with Tamy Tazi and Fernando Sanchez. The works of these three fashion designers, which often resonate with one another, give form to this crossplay.
Tamy Tazi discovered how to reinvent the caftan, giving it a more slender and refined silhouette, offering women a new assuredness while emphasizing the contours of the feminine form. She took an interest in the art of cutting fabric, and above all, in embroidery. She redefined the caftan, playing with both dress codes and variations in shapes and colors. She built an extraordinary collection of embroidery and antique textiles, which allowed her to broaden her gaze and helped inspire her creative work. Tamy Tazi shared her passion for Moroccan embroidery and fabrics with Yves Saint Laurent and Fernando Sanchez, both of whom she both introduced to this very particular world. At the same time, thanks to her involvement with Yves Saint Laurent, whose fashion house she represented in Morocco, Tamy Tazi gained access to fabrics that were designed by major textile manufacturers exclusively for the French couturier.
This exhibition lets us in on a game of give and take: how the visual worlds shared by the three friends and designers influenced all three, and how each, in his or her own way, sought to reinvent these worlds. Their individual adaptations of these visual perspectives, and the crossroads among their works, are based on a deep bond and aesthetic communion that would continue to reunite them at various stages of their lives and careers for over 40 years. The works exhibited must be seen and understood in the light of the close friendship between Tamy Tazy, Fernando Sanchez and Yves Saint Laurent and their ongoing play of successive reinterpretation and creative renewal.
Exhibition curators : Madison Cox, Mouna Mekouar
Exhibition design : Jasmin Oezcebi
Due to its ongoing success, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum has extended the Bert Flint Exhibition until Sunday, 1 August 2021.
FROM 21 OCTOBER 2020 TO 1 AUGUST 2021
The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech is pleased to present an exhibition that offers a portrait of the life’s work of Bert Flint, a passionate observer and self-taught cultural anthropologist with a deep affinity for Moroccan and sub- Saharan cultures. Through more than 60 years of dedicated observation of rural peoples and the objects they create, Flint has been able to access underlying paradigms of motifs, materials and techniques shared across tribes and geography.
This exhibition brings together works from his personal collection that bear witness to his vision of the diversity and richness of Berber traditions that have flourished from the Atlas to the Anti-Atlas and from the Sahara to the Sahel.
In 1996, Flint founded the Tiskiwin Museum in Marrakech, a small museum bearing his personal stamp, to share with the public his collection of jewels, textiles, pottery, ceramics and more, and to reveal the deep, and often forgotten, ties that unite Moroccan traditions to those of the Saharan world and to the broader African continent.
Conceived as a vast visual poem to the enveloping beauty of the objects themselves, the exhibition emphasizes the formal language of objects used by Bert Flint in his research and his role as regardeur. It is our hope that viewers will make their own observations, finding links between various cultures, regions, tribes and communities.
As if to guide visitors on an imaginary journey that begins in Marrakech, the exhibition is organized to take us across territories from the Middle Atlas to the Anti-Atlas, from the Rif to Tafilalet, and on to the sub-Saharan regions of Mali and Mauritania. In each region, one emblematic craft is highlighted, so that basketry, pottery, ornaments, amulets, textiles or leather goods are all presented in the same exhibition space, with examples hailing from each of the sites on this journey. Each stage in the route is linked to a region whose history has intersected with nomadic or seminomadic populations with which it has come in contact. In this way, these objects invite us to rethink our conventional approach to artistic production in these different territories. We are able to see how sub-Saharan populations and cultures have enriched and transformed differents regions of Morocco, while the latter has likewise influenced other lands through this exchange. Each object exhibited bears witness to, and leaves a trace of, shared cultural practices, attesting to the presence of a common cultural heritage.
The multifaceted mosaic that appears from Morocco to the Sahel, as seen through these objects, leads us to consider these different worlds as a single cultural and artistic entity. This perspective is Bert Flint’s interpretation of the works and the worlds they suggest. The works engage in a visual dialogue with one another, providing us with a particular aesthetic geography. The exchanges and influences—whether east-west or north-south—appear as cultural links.
Through an interplay of references and harmonies of decoration, symbolism and techniques, the exhibition provides a fresh perspective on these cultures and reveals the interconnected contributions of a multitude of designs and patterns.
This exhibition reflects a long history of friendship, admiration and collaboration between the Fondation Jardin Majorelle and Bert Flint. In 2018, the Foundation published a volume titled “African-Berber Culture: Neolithic Traditions of the Sahara in North Africa and the Sahel Region” in recognition of a generous donation of textiles that Flint gave to the Pierre Bergé Museum of Berber Arts (formerly the Berber Museum) in 2015. This exhibition is another way in which the Foundation is pleased to honor the work of this extraordinary man. Opening a window onto the territories Flint has crossed and the cultures he loves, this exhibition draws strength from the way in which it connects territories and people across communities, landscapes and national boundaries, while at the same time recognizing the unique diversity of each.
Curator: Mouna Mekouar
Exhibition designer: Jasmin Oezcebi
African-Berber Culture / La culture afro-berbère
Due to its ongoing success, the Yves Saint Laurent Museum has extended the Jacques Azema exhibition until Sunday March 24, 2020
FROM 27 OCTOBER 2019 TO 24 MARCH 2020
The museum YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech will present the first retrospective exhibition dedicated to the work of Jacques Azéma (1910-1979), a French artist who arrived in Marrakech in 1930. His paintings, heavily influenced by Symbolism, reflect his personal vision of Morocco. Jacques Azéma had an important influence on Moroccan artists of his time, both in Marrakech and in Casablanca, where he taught for many years at the École des Beaux-Arts. The exhibition will gather forty drawings and paintings, organized around three important themes that are central to the artist’s work: geometric research, genre scenes and men. He lived in the medina in close proximity to his subject matter: the streets and their merchants, the acrobats in the central square, and his discovery, with them, of the hammams of Marrakech. Azéma’s compositions, and his indifference to the traditional rules of perspective, distance his work from the “Orientalist” naturalism that prevailed at the time. His literary and artistic training, shaped by Surrealist thought, gave him the desire to explore the geometrical basis of forms, their contradictions, and the rendering of movement.
“His small-format paintings are like jewels that reveal a dreamlike representation of Morocco, a landscape of the unconscious whose pictorial language is closer to that of a true Surrealist inspired by Giorgio de Chirico or Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. How wonderful that this exhibition will do justice to Jacques Azéma and to the particular quality of his artistic output; that his long-forgotten work will be rediscovered; and that we will appreciate its modernist underpinnings, as an offshoot of the Parisian avant-garde,
which he brought with him to Africa nearly a century ago.”
Marie-Françoise Giacolette & Christopher González-aller
JACQUES AZÉMA AND MOROCCO
Like his contemporary, Jacques Majorelle, Azéma felt a strong bond with Morocco. He arrived for the first time in 1930 and, wanting to understand the culture of the country, sought friendships with Moroccans in Marrakech, Casablanca and El Jadida.
“I love nothing more than a sincere innocence. I settled in Morocco so that I could live alongside it. I admit that my relationships until now have only been with Moroccans of the most humble class, whose lack of culture has preserved this innocence, which, in my opinion, makes them so admirable.”
Extract from a letter written by Jacques Azéma to a friend, dated Marrakech, July 28, 1934
Curator : Marie-Françoise Giacolette
FROM 16 JUNE 2019 TO 8 OCTOBER 2019
The musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech is pleased to announce its next temporary exhibition, Desert Design, which will showcase the incredible talent of Berber weavers.
The exhibition will feature thirty contemporary rugs woven by women of the Aït Khebbach, a tribe found in the easternmost region of Morocco at the gateway to the Sahara. The vibrant colours and modern patterns of the rugs, as well as the recycled material used to make them, bear witness to the remarkable creativity of these Berber weavers, and contrast with the harsh and desolate environment in which they live.
Arnaud Maurières, co-curator of the exhibition, describes the
moment he saw these rugs for the first time :
In December 2010, we were exploring the eastern Moroccan desert, a vast plain devoid of trees, shadows and water. It was there, in the middle of nowhere, that we came upon two modest earthen structures: the home of our guide, Lahcen, and his family. Nine people lived within the walls; there was nothing in the unpainted interior that resembled furniture. The only thing we noticed was a pile of rugs in the corner of one of the rooms. As they were unfolded to welcome us, the floor suddenly seemed dappled with vibrant colours, which astounded us. Lahcen told us that all the women of his tribe wove such rugs, and asked if we wanted to meet them. It was how our adventure began.
The Desert Design exhibition allows us to travel through a rich spatio-temporal landscape as we discover the unique talent of these women weavers. Their Aït Khebbach rugs, filled with unexpected patterns and bursts of colour, reflect a modernism and freedom of expression, and reveal the genesis of a tribal style that is thoroughly contemporary.
This exhibition at the musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech works in harmony with the exceptional collection of Amazigh carpets and rugs found at the nearby Berber Museum, in the heart of the Jardin Majorelle, and underlines the importance that both institutions place on preserving Moroccan heritage.
Curator : Christine Bouilloc, Arnaud Maurières
Exhibition designer : Younes Duret
FROM 23 MARCH TO 2 JUNE 2019
The musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech is pleased to present Christo’s first solo exhibition in Morocco as well as his first exhibition in a museum dedicated to fashion.
Christo: Femmes 1962 – 1968, on view from 23 March to 2 June, 2019, features work related to women and fashion created by the artist between 1962 and 1968.
The exhibition includes preparatory collages and drawings which have never been on view to the public and features one original sculpture, Christo’s iconic Wedding Dress, created in 1967. Exhibited together for the first time, the works provide a narrative of a formative period in Christo’s career and offers a rare glimpse into the artist’s approach and process.
“This exhibition will be absolutely unique; something never seen before,” said Christo. “It will be about the body, the living body, the feminine body. It’s not about sculptures or mannequins. It’s all about living beings. The wrapping process involved so many different aspects: emotions, feelings, movement, and the rhythm of these bodies. These works are so significant to me now and, even more so, in this elegant museum, whose architecture seems to be inspired by the body’s movement and the natural flowing of the fabric.”
For each of these works, drawings and collages played a major role in the creative process. They reflect the birth and the evolution of his ideas, and show how the women, when wrapped, were transformed into classical sculptures.
“Each work, each project, represents that precious and beautiful moment when it was created,” said Christo. “Those moments cannot be repeated. They are unique. They exist and then they are gone forever. That’s the reason I always document my projects with photography. I would never have expected that drawings, made so nonchalantly in the sixties, could age so beautifully and be shown in an exhibition like this today.”
The exhibited collages and drawings as well as the Wedding Dress, which is at the heart of this exhibition, transcend boundaries between fashion and art, fashion and clothing, clothing and skin. They also defy the theoretical barriers between sculpture and performance, sculpture, and collage. They bear witness to how Christo’s artistic output could be paradoxically related to fashion and to traditional sculpture ranging from Tanagra to Bernini and Rodin.
A book, published by Gallimard, accompanies the exhibition. It provides a compilation of the work featured in Christo: Femmes 1962 – 1968, and includes never-before-published photographs as well as stills by Charles Wilp from his original 35mm films which document Christo’s wrapping of women in London and Düsseldorf. Additional photographs of the artist’s work between 1962 and 1968 are also included from Christo wrapping a woman in Yves Klein’s Paris home in 1962 to the 1968 solo show at the ICA Philadelphia, the last time Christo wrapped women. Referring to these works that explore the tactile surfaces of fabric used to wrap and transform the female body, Christo noted that the “fabric is like a second skin.” The book also tells the story of this formative period of Christo’s career and his contributions to contemporary art.
Curator : Lorenza Giovanelli, Mouna Mekouar
Exhibition designer : Lorenza Giovanelli
FROM 22 FEBRUARY TO 12 MARCH 2019
Brice Marden (born 1938) earned his MFA at the Yale School of Art and Architecture in 1963. There, Marden’s instructors included Alex Katz, Jon Schueler, and Esteban Vicente. In 2006, Brice Marden was honored with a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, which traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. He has also been the subject of one-person exhibitions at institutions such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Serpentine Gallery in London. Brice Marden lives and works in New York
Coinciding with the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in Marrakech, the musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech presents BRICE MARDEN MOROCCO, an exhibition dedicated to the work of the renowned American artist, Brice Marden. Since beginning his career in the 1960s, Marden has continuously refined and extended the traditions of lyrical abstraction. Experimenting with self-imposed rules, limits, and processes, and drawing inspiration from his extensive travels, Marden combines the diagrammatic formulations of Minimalism, the immediacy of Abstract Expressionism, and the intuitive gesture of calligraphy in his exploration of gesture, line, and color. The exhibition gathers more than 60 works, from oil painting on canvas to works on paper, including several produced in Morocco and never before seen by the public. It is the first time his work is shown in Africa, in Morocco, a country he discovered many years ago, and where he lives and works several months a year today.
Press release :
TEMPORARY EXHIBITION WITH FREE ADMISSION
AT THE MUSÉE YVES SAINT LAURENT MARRAKECH
FROM 30 SEPTEMBER 2018 TO 5 FEBRUARY 2019
Like others before and after her, Leila Alaoui was someone committed to helping others, and who travelled the world to bear witness to their suffering; it was when doing so that she accomplished her most beautiful work.
She held deep convictions. The manner in which she left us justifies my lifelong struggle to defend tolerance. When I think of Leila Alaoui, I remember the words of André Gide: “My old age will have begun when I am no longer offended.”
Excerpt from a speech given by Pierre Bergé in Marrakech on 14 April, 2017, when Leila Alaoui was posthumously awarded the title of Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic.
Les Marocains is one of the last projects undertaken by Leila Alaoui, a French-Moroccan photographer who tragically died from injuries sustained during a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on 15 January 2016. Three years later, the musée YVES SAINT LAURENT Marrakech, in partnership with the Fondation Leila Alaoui, will present her work in Marrakech, the city where she was raised and where, as a child, she met Yves Saint Laurent. Her photographic series is a testament to Morocco’s cultural diversity, which is also on display at the Jardin Majorelle’s Berber Museum.
Regarding her series Les Marocains, Leila Alaoui said, “While exploring my own heritage, I stayed among different communities, and used the fact that I was born Moroccan as a sort of ‘filter’ – one based on empathy – to awaken and reveal in these portraits the specific character of the individuals I photographed.”
The exhibition presents thirty portraits from her series Les Marocains, several seen for the first time, and has been curated by the author and photographer, Guillaume de Sardes.
For the entire run of the exhibition, the Fondation Jardin Majorelle has decided to offer free admission to the temporary exhibition hall, offering as many Marrakchis and Moroccans as possible the opportunity to see Les Marocains and bear witness to the photographer’s unique gaze vis-à-vis her fellow citizens. It is the first time the foundation has taken such an initiative.
From 30 September 2018 to 5 February 2019 at the musée YVES SAINT LAURENT Marrakech
Made possible with the generous support of the Amis de la Fondation Jardin Majorelle
Curator : Guillaume de Sardes
Exhibition designer : Christophe Martin
ETEL ADNAN – SIMONE FATTAL – BOB WILSON
FROM 14 MAY TO 16 SEPTEMBER 2018
This exhibition has been conceived as a conversation between three artists: Etel Adnan, Simone Fattal and Robert Wilson. It was inspired by their shared experiences, whether in Morocco, Lebanon, California or Paris. Garden of Memory is built around these different localities, yet transposes them. The artists’ experiences in these different places have framed the contours of the exhibition. They create the foundation, and at times impetus, for the exhibition, but are not its subject.
Garden of Memory reveals itself as a non-linear narrative, a mental landscape, a choreography combining poetry, sound and sculpture. The thrust behind it all is a poem by Etel Adnan, “Conversation with my soul (III)”, read by Robert Wilson over music by Michael Galasso. In turn, Simone Fattal responds to the poem by manifesting the profound coherence between the various creative elements. Her sculptures – stelai, figures and angels – discretely exalt the capacity for listening and understanding, for perceiving and recording.
The fundamental meaning of this exhibition is found less in the individual works, and more in the hidden treasure they collectively contain. It is a paradoxical space. It is an act of commitment; a manifestation of friendship and love. The public is invited to savour and feel emotions that have been gathered and condensed by the artists.
Curator : Mouna Mekouar
Exhibition designer : Christophe Martin
In the first exhibition in Morocco dedicated to Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962) since his death, some forty works bear witness to the passion that the painter had for this country, a passion that, as in the case of Yves Saint Laurent, so inspired him.
FROM 19 OCTOBER 2017 TO 4 FEBRUARY 2018
Jacques Majorelle’s Morocco includes paintings of Marrakech, discovered by Majorelle in 1917, meticulous depictions of High Atlas kasbahs painted from the 1920s, and hymns to women and to his superb botanical garden that he created at the beginning of the 1930s. It is a tribute to this orientalist painter who captured and celebrated the beauty of Morocco during the first half of the 20th century.
Curator : Félix Marcilhac
Exhibition designer : Christophe Martin
23 FEBRUARY 2017 TO 22 AVRIL 2018
Noureddine Amir’s creations raise ambiguous questions. Are they fashion or architecture from another time? Are they apparel or abode? The textures, colors, and shapes by far recall the Amazigh constructions encountered in the towns lying in the southern part of North Africa, from Morocco to Egypt.
Amir works on a garment as if he were working on an animal hide. Taking wool, raf a, and silk, he submits them to a speci c treatment. They undergo a transformation in order to be adapted or readapted to life. Before reaching the public, they are submitted to an initiation process. They are dyed with henna, dried pomegranate peel, and indigo. Sometimes they are treated with alum. Yet those who know these materials and the many ways in which they are traditionally used know that many women use them to tan animal hide and strengthen their own skin.
Curator : Hamid Fardjad
Exhibition designer : Christophe Martin