The portmanteau word “carpetalogue” is the delightful moniker created to describe the ‘pages’ – i.e. carpets – in the current exhibition at Gallery Libby Sellers, London. Celebrating art and design studio M/M (Paris), the singular exhibition title is interpreted by your scribe as a witty contemporary update of the traditional festschrift – a volume of essays by different writers celebrating a remarkable individual. Instead M/M (Paris) – with a little help from their friends – celebrate themselves. And rightly so. Carpetalogue recognises M/M Paris’ twentieth anniversary and publication of the studio’s monograph.
The designs of the four hand knotted wool rugs (limited edition of twelve each) are drawn from the visual lexicon of M/M Paris, and made in Varanasi, India under the design direction of Gallery Libby Sellers and Abhishek Poddar, whose art/design credentials include carpet projects with Takashi Murakami and Julian Opie.
Michaël Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak established M/M (Paris) as a graphic design studio in 1992. Their “free forms” graphic style is noteworthy on many levels, not least because the duo have elevated the furiously fast and dense ink doodles (e.g. Sirene above) familiar perhaps to many COVER readers from their own school notebooks, to the realm of fine art and design. Rather than a pejorative critique, this observation is a commendation to M/M Paris for pushing into the mainstream an art form practiced even before medieval secular illuminators inserted often quite naughty “doodles” in the marginalia or inside back covers of folios they were tasked to hand-illuminate.
Fitzrovia is London’s new gallery quarter, and on the last Thursday of each month the galleries host a late night. Gallery Libby Sellers is part of these festivities, and not only can COVER readers enjoy the Carpetalogue exhibition until 9 p.m., they can benefit from Libby Sellers’ “penchant for second hand books”, as the gallerist is creating a one night only pop up shop to sell some of her design book collection. Sharp elbows at the ready, your scribe will be there at the bell to dive into Sellers’ exhibition and book cornucopia. DJ