Pharrell Williams has a long history of supporting and being a patron of the visual arts. In addition to designing furniture, collaborating with artists like Takashi Murakami (remember that $2 million sculpture?), and owning a lot of art by KAWS, he ventured into curating last year, notably for the "This Is Not a Toy" exhibition at the Design Exchange in Toronto, Canada.
Now, he's taking it a step further and curating an exhibition at esteemed Parisian gallery, Galerie Perrotin. Founder and owner Emmanuel Perrotin tells Madame Le Figaro that the name of the exhibition is "Girl," sharing a name with his newly released album. It will open May 27 (closing June 25) at the gallery's new space in the hotel d’Ecquevilly in Le Marais, Paris.
According to Perrotin, it's dedicated to strong, free women and will have work by 34 artists (16 are women) including Marina Abramovic, Valérie Belin, Sophie Calle, Tracey Emin, Guerrilla Girls, and Cindy Sherman.
UPDATE (April 29, 2014 at 12:20 p.m. ET): Galerie Perrotin has updated their website with the exhibition's press release that reveals much more about the artists and works on view at Perrotin's new space at the Salle de Bal, a former ballroom at the Hôtel du Grand Veneur.
There will be 40 works in total at the exhibition with 10 specially produced works—a large tondo by Takashi Murakami (a tribute to Pharrell Williams and his wife in her wedding gown), a sculpture by Daniel Arsham made of broken glass, a laser portrait of Marilyn Monroe by Gregor Hildebrandt, a new work on canvas by KAWS (who is creating the bottle for his upcoming fragrance G I R L), an oil painting on wood by Laurent Grasso titled Studies into the past - Single Cover of “Lost Queen” by Pharrell Williams (created for Pharrell with Pharrell Williams as Napoleon and Love as an Ancient Egyptian Goddess) and special projects with Guerrilla Girls, Rob Pruitt, Aya Takano, Guy Limone, and JR (for whom Pharrell Williams created the soundtrack of his latest film), as well as Mr. (who is creating Pharrell's next music video). One of Marina Abramovic's most famous works, Rest Energy with Ulay from 1980, will also be exhibited.
In addition to the artists mentioned above there will be works by Andy Warhol, Ghada Amer, Chiho Aoshima, Johan Creten, Daniel Firman, Gelitin, Alex Katz, Bharti Kher, Klara Kristalova, Prune Nourry, Rob Pruitt, Paola Pivi, Terry Richardson, Germaine Richier, Mickalene Thomas, Agnès Thurnauer, Xavier Veilhan, and Tom Wesselmann.
In describing how they decided that Pharrell should curate an exhibition at the gallery, Emmanuel Perrotin says, "After the launch party for my new gallery in New York in late 2013, Pharrell took a few of us to listen to the first 5 tracks of his upcoming album G I R L. The songs put us in such a good mood that we danced to all of them. At this moment, we realized that this tribute to women was going to be a worldwide success and would represent a shift in his career. Pharrell made us feel like we were part of it. This project at the gallery in Paris is a natural continuation of this adventure."
The exhibition will still run from from May 27 - June 25 with the aim of mixing "images of women and of love, viewed from a variety of angles."
UPDATE (May 1, 2014 at 1:40 p.m. ET): The New York Times' T Magazine has exclusive quotes and images from participating artists in the exhibition.
Marina Abramovic, Rest Energy with Ulay (1980)
Takashi Murakami, Portrait of Pharrell and Helen - Dance (2014)
Daniel Arsham making a body cast of Pharrell for a sculpture made of broken glass