Meet Our Curators

Meet Our Curators

2 October 2020 • 10:00 AM EDT • New York
2 October 2020 • 10:00 AM EDT • New York

VIRGIL ABLOH & GORDEN WAGENER

I n the first initiative of its kind, Project Geländewagen saw Mercedes-Benz collaborate with the polymath artist, architect, creative director and fashion designer, Virgil Abloh, to create a unique design piece from the iconic Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Working in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer, Gorden Wagener, the partnership marks the unifi cation of two worlds: fashion and art with automotive. The objective? To push the boundaries of each respective creative realm and rebuild the luxury landscape anew. Utilizing the craftsmanship and know-how that is unique to Mercedes- Benz’s heritage as the world’s fi rst car manufacturer, Wagener and Abloh’s creation embodies Mercedes-Benz’ innate understanding of the extraordinary and a bold vision for the future of luxury design.

A one-of-a-kind maquette has been created for auction, exclusively for Sotheby’s, allowing the possibility to own this unique design piece, and be personally introduced to the design concepts that brought it to life by Wagener and Abloh. Compelled to support the arts and the international creative community at a critical time, Mercedes-Benz is proud to donate all proceeds from the auction.

“Mercedes-Benz is a brand that stands for luxury and exceptional performance,” says Virgil Abloh. “Truly a perfect chassis to interject modern artists’ ideas of what the future can be stylistically, within conceptual car design.”

“Mercedes-Benz today is much more than a luxury carmaker, it is a design brand and luxury label. One major reason for our success story is our aesthetic soul and the unique style of our house.” says Gorden Wagener. “The next step in pushing Mercedes-Benz design is our collaboration with Virgil Abloh. We are set to create something unseen in both of our branches,” states Gorden Wagener.

A one-of-a-kind maquette has been created for auction, exclusively for Sotheby’s, allowing the possibility to own this unique design piece, and be personally introduced to the design concepts that brought it to life by Wagener and Abloh. Compelled to support the arts and the international creative community at a critical time, Mercedes-Benz is proud to donate all proceeds from the auction. “Mercedes-Benz is a brand that stands for luxury and exceptional performance,” says Virgil Abloh. “Truly a perfect chassis to interject modern artists’ ideas of what the future can be stylistically, within conceptual car design.” “Mercedes-Benz today is much more than a luxury carmaker, it is a design brand and luxury label. One major reason for our success story is our aesthetic soul and the unique style of our house.” says Gorden Wagener. “The next step in pushing Mercedes-Benz design is our collaboration with Virgil Abloh. We are set to create something unseen in both of our branches,” states Gorden Wagener.

Virgil Abloh

“ My ultimate goal in this project with Mercedes-Benz is inspiring young artists, engineers, designers to question the status quo, in addition to experimenting with my own design abilities. Mercedes- Benz is a brand that stands for luxury and exceptional performance. Truly a perfect chassis to interject modern artists’ ideas of what the future can be stylistically.”
— Virgil Abloh

Born in Rockford, Illinois, Virgil Abloh is an artist, architect, engineer, creative director, and fashion designer. After earning a degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he completed a master’s degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago. At IIT, while studying a design curriculum devised by Mies van der Rohe, Abloh began to craft the principles of his art practice. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presented a major traveling survey of Abloh’s work in summer 2019 – one of the highest attended exhibitions in the museum’s history. Currently, Abloh is the Chief Creative Director and founder of Off-White and Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton.

Gorden Wagener

“ Mercedes-Benz today is much more than a luxury carmaker. With Project Geländewagen we create a unique artwork that showcases future interpretations of luxury and the desire for beauty and the extraordinary. The result is something between reality and future. The collaboration with Virgil has seen two distinct design philosophies unite, for a one-of-a-kind re-imagination of the G that continues to celebrate the extraordinary at its core.”
— Gorden Wagener

Born in Essen, Gorden Wagener is the Chief Design Officer Daimler Group – a position he has held since 2016. After studying Industrial Design at the University of Essen, he honed his skills in Transportation Design at London’s Royal College of Art. He joined Mercedes-Benz over two decades ago, initially working as an exterior designer at Volkswagen, Mazda and GM. In 2008 he was made Director of Daimler’s AG Design unit and since then has been responsible for the design of all cars. Under his leadership, the new design philosophy of sensual purity was devised, which embodies both ‘hot’ and ‘cool’ characteristics and thereby expresses an essential aspect of the brand – the dichotomy between emotion and intelligence. Several models bear Wagener's signature, including the C-, E- and S-Class models, the SUVs GLE and GLC, the Mercedes-AMG GT as well as the company’s smart and commercial vehicles. His groundbreaking work has earned him a number of accolades including an honorary professorship at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest (2009) and an honorary doctorate at Sofia Technical University (2010).

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos & news.
Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

More from Sotheby's

Close
arrow Created with Sketch. Back To Top