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By Maíra Amorim, Contributing Reporter

Yves Saint Laurent, photo by Andre Rau.
Yves Saint Laurent, photo by Andre Rau.

RIO DE JANEIRO – 2009 is the year of France in Brazil. An exclusive addition to the French cultural calendar is the “exhibition-tribute” to Yves Saint Laurent, organized by the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB).

Rio is the only city in Brazil to host the exhibition, curated by the Pierre Bergé of the Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, a group devoted to keeping alive the memory of the French master of haute couture who passed away last year.

“Yves Saint Laurent – Viagens Extraordinárias” (Extraordinary Voyages) is taking place on the second floor of the Cultural Centre, where full collections are displayed.

Inspirations from Africa, Asia, Spain and other destinations around the world have left their mark on Yves Sant Laurent’s atelier, and this international influence is illustrated with key pieces from his various collections.

50 creations spanning his 50+ year career, two videos from 2002 (an interview with David Teboul and his last show at the George Pompidou Museum in Paris) as well as original drawings will be on view until July 19th.

“CCBB is 20 years old. Throughout these two decades, we have had the opportunity to present French culture and art to the public. It is a privilege for the Cultural Centre to present YSL’s exhibition as part of the Year of France in Brazil. More than the presentation of an icon of French culture of the 20th Century, the exhibition is about the genius and creativity of a great artist”, says CCBB Rio director, Marcos Mantoan.

The goal is to bring attention to his extreme sensibility to cultural representation and razor-sharp capacity to understand influences from places he has never been – as the ironic truth is that Laurent didn’t travel much outside France, despite what his collections lead one to believe. He was born in Algeria, in 1936, a French colony until 1962. His African childhood helped him to develop a special eye for different cultures, which are present in one form or another in all of his collections.

An installation on the ground floor will pay homage to the cards “Love”, an YSL trademark: these were the cards he sent to his friends and clients on New Year’s Eve. 36 giant cards (2×3 meters) will be suspended from CCBB’s ceiling, which is 32 meters high.

His favorite songs are the exhibition’s soundtrack, including works from Berlioz, Debussy and Ravel; and texts from his favorite authors are incorporated into the decor. Fashion workshops will take place as part of the exhibition, in a partnership with Instituto Zuzu Angel/Estácio and CCBB. The workshops, coordinated by Helen Pomposelli, will be promoted by Eight fashion design students. On Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 AM to 6 PM visitors can learn how to put together different fabrics, how to draw fashion designs and how to dress models.

The following Yves Sant Laurent collections will be included in the exhibition:

Africa: 12 pieces(Collections: Summer 1967; Saharienne 1968; Summer 1970: Winter 1987; Winter 1990 and Summer 1994)

Asia: 13 pieces (Collections: Winter 1977; Summer 1980 and Winter 1994)

Spain: 6 pieces(Collections: Summer 1977; Winter 1979 and Summer 1980)

India: 6 pieces(Collections: Summer 1982; Winter 1984; Summer 1985; Winter 1985 and Winter 1986)

Maroc: 7 pieces (Collections: Winter 1979; Summer 1989; Summer 1991 and Winter 2000)

Russia: 6 pieces (Collections: Winter 1976; Winter 1997 and Winter 1999)

Yves Saint Laurent – Extraordinary Trips
CCBB Rio
Rua Primeiro de Março, 66 – Centro
Tel.: 21 3808.2020
Until July 19th
From Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 9 PM
Free Entrance

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