Held at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, from 29 November 2023 to 28 April 2024, the exhibition Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses pays tribute to one of the most forward-thinking designers. A pioneer in the use of new technologies in her discipline, Iris van Herpen transgresses conventional clothing norms, while embracing both traditional Couture craftmanship and innovative techniques.

Ranging from micro to macro, the exhibition questions the place of the body in space, its relationship to movement, transformation and its environment, and its future in a rapidly changing world.
A selection of over one hundred Haute Couture body-works made by Iris van Herpen dialogue with works of contemporary art, by artists like the Collectif Mé, Wim Delvoye, Kate MccGwire, Damien Jalet, Kohei Nawa, Casey Curran, Rogan Brown, Jacques Rougerie, Ren Ri, Ferruccio Laviani, Philip Beesley and Tomáš Libertíny, in addition to items from the spheres of the natural sciences, such as skeletons and fossils, thereby instilling a unique resonance with historical pieces. The exhibition is curated by Cloé Pitiot and assistant curator Louise Curtis.

Born in 1984, Iris van Herpen grew up in the village of Wamel (Netherlands) in harmony with nature and the living world, which are, along with the classical dance she practiced intensively from an early age, the founding elements of her relationship to the body. After a formative period with Alexander McQueen and Claudy Jongstra, she founded the Maison Iris van Herpen in Amsterdam in 2007, combining the subtleties of craftsmanship with the pioneering spirit of innovation, decompartmentalising and opening up her practice to a host of other disciplines, resulting in sensorial designs that capture the intricacy and diversity of the natural world. Four years later, she joined the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris. The year 2010 marked a turning point in her career: she presented her first 3D-printed dress from the Crystallization Collection, currently conserved by the Musée des Arts décoratifs.


Iris van Herpen contemplates her designs as an interdisciplinary language and a dynamic entity, the result of the cross-pollination of various fields: art, chemistry, dance, physics, architecture, biology, design, and technology. In 2012,  the Groninger Museum devoted a first major exhibition to her work. Van Herpen’s embodied art has become a permanent fixture in the musea landsape with her designs in world-leading museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Victoria and Albert museum in London and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Today, Iris van Herpen is internationally recognized as one of the most remarkable and surprising female artists of her generation.


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