Parisian Couple Frédérique Morrel and Aaron Levin Create Tumbling Figures Out of Found Vintage Tapestries
WHEN: Friday, Oct. 7–Wednesday, Nov. 9; A reception will take place on Friday, Oct. 7, 5–7 PM
WHERE: Brown Center’s Rosenberg Gallery (1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.)
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) presents Fall/Fail, an exhibition by Parisian couple Frédérique Morrel and Aaron Levin inspired by “the recent string of global catastrophes that give a sense of imminent doom,” Levin said.
The exhibition will consist of a series of animals and human figures falling, leaping or tumbling toward the College’s atrium. The Fall/Fail exhibition is an evocation of possible global collapse and catastrophe, according to the artists. They question: “will the exhibition be a final fall or a new flight? Will a better world emerge from this ‘collapstrophe?’” Frederique Morrel, founded by Morrel and Levin, is an artistic adventure designed to explore the realms of humanity’s origins: Adam and Eve, the animals of the Garden of Eden and paradise lost, using as raw material discarded vintage tapestries found in yard sales and thrift shops. Believing the natural connection humans once had with “true” art and the natural access to beauty has been lost to industry, the couple’s “artifacts” serve as their solution to “re-enchant the world” through their special ingredients to create happiness.
The couple, who met in the ’80s while crashing a conceptual exhibition by Jean-Pierre Raynaud at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris in what today could be considered a “flash mob,” seeks out rare, missing pieces, believing that every find has a direct link to the energy and creativity of their ancestors. The use of these ancestral creations allows the artists to maintain an emotional connection to the past while making them more meaningfully powerful.
Morrel, a Paris native, has been a professor of fashion art and design at Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Appliqués Duperré since 1983. In 1990, she became active as a designer of decorative objects, and starting in 2002, this evolved into a full-fledged artistic career, exploring the boundaries that overlap between art, design and craft, with growing international success. Levin, a Baltimore native, boasts a 25-year career as a creative director in corporate identity in leading design agencies before continuing the same position independently, partners with Morrel to develop her artistic activity.
Founded in1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 46 states and 53 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. Redefining art and design education, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty, and other established artists.
Image captions (top to bottom): Frédérique Morrel, Jumping Bonny, mixed media: foam, vintage tapestries, 2010; Frédérique Morrel, Apocalypse Before, mixed media: resin, vintage tapestries, 2011; Frédérique Morrel, Up in Arms, mixed media: foam, resin, vintage tapestries, 2011. ©Frédérique Morrel. Photos: Philippe Cluzeau.