October / November 2018

The exhibition Drawings by Yves Saint-Laurent features 25 drawings created in the period 1968-1972.

Saint-Laurent is today considered one of the greatest fashion designers of the 20th century. The drawings provide an intimate insight into the designer’s universe. Throughout his artistic career Saint-Laurent expressed his admiration for the visual arts, and, through his collections, he entered into a dialogue with the works of other artists. His creative urge drove him to produce a new drawing every day. This is reflected in the 1965 winter collection which paid homage to Piet Mondrian, the 1966 autumn collection which drew inspiration from the pop art movement, and the 1988 summer collection that was created as a tribute to Vincent van Gogh. Saint-Laurent’s interest in the art scene can be traced all the way back to his apprenticeship with Christian Dior, who began his professional career as a gallerist. Together with his spouse, Pierre Bergé, Saint-Laurent built up an impressive collection of impressionist, oriental and modern art – including works by Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Gauguin and Munch. This is where we find the source material for his designs; and in his drawings Saint-Laurent puts both his artistic expression and his erotic fantasies into play.

Owing to a major discussion about the rights to exhibit, or rather notto exhibit, the works, the drawings shown at the Avlskarl Gallery have been surrounded by a great deal of mystery and been the cause of serious contention between the designer’s spouse, Pierre Bergé, and his lover, Fabrice Thomas. The exhibition Drawings by Yves Saint-Laurent portrays a man who dedicated his entire life to beauty, art and design – often in ways that proved controversial and ground-breaking. Using art as his central reference point, Yves Saint-Laurent became one of the most recognised designers of the century. In 1979 he told the French writer Laurence Benaïm that

‘I’m projecting what I admire in painting and literature. I’m freeing myself with haute couture.’

The exhibition will also feature works by Gregor Hildebrandt, Michael Sailstorfer and the performance “C’est la Vie” by Sylvie Fleury.