Aimee Marcos

Microclima: Max Mara x Eva Jospin

According to Globalblue.com, Max Mara is a name known across the world, synonymous with luxury, style and quality. Today Max Mara is one of the largest fashion houses in Italy as well as the world, and the Max Mara Group – which consists of 19 different lines – is the biggest clothing company in Italy.

Back in 2019, Max Mara held a design contest for artists where the winner will design the creation of a permanent site-specific artwork that will be installed at the brand’s flagship store on Milan’s Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

The artists participating in this ambitious contest, organized in collaboration with the Collezione Maramotti, were invited to create an artwork, that, while conceived to be permanent, would have explored the concept of impermanence and that, installed into a metropolitan environment, could encourage a critical reflection on a different, – natural, physical and poetic – perception of the space. And this contest was won by none other than Eva Jospin.

Eva Jospin is a French artist known for her elaborate cardboard sculptures. According to Artnet.com, Eva Jospin, born in 1975 in Paris, France, is the daughter of the former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

Though she began by studying architecture, Jospin soon switched her attention to sculpture and found she preferred the physicality of making objects by hand. She has been the subject of many exhibitions throughout Europe, notably including the Palais de Tokyo in 2012. She lives and works in Paris, France.

Eva Jospin’s winning proposal, entitled Microclima, consists of a glass and metal greenhouse, an architecture encapsulating an intimate world, and, at the same time, creating a connection with the external environment. Inspired by the winter gardens of the late 19th century, – a period dominated by the Liberty style that gave the name to Milan’s iconic square.

It is highly impactful, so it’s not a mystery why it rose above the competition and won the Mara Max Project. The win was announced back in 2019, and the construction of the artwork, which has to be authorized by the Municipality of Milan, is expected for 2022.

The organic shapes in the Microclima design are meant to evoke nature rather than host a sample of it. The “greenhouse” will have no real plants, but, rather, sculptures made of cellulose, the material that derives from them. Fragrance lovers, you’re also in luck. The greenhouse will include an olfactory component developed by Jospin in collaboration with a perfumer.

Nature and in particular the imagery linked to the forest are at the core of Eva Jospin’s work. Conceived and developed as a figurative, symbolic and emotional object, nature is for the artist a place where indulging freedom and playfulness, but also an intriguing mysterious space giving the chance to enter an immersive, different dimension.

In her vision, the forest becomes a source of research and knowledge, but also of mental escape, where to get lost and, perhaps, to find oneself again. Patiently cutting and assembling simple, inexpensive materials, Jospin creates impressive and elegant installations, which also raises questions about the current condition of nature, its instability and fragility.

Her most recently personal exhibitions were presented at:

  • Het Noordbrabants Museum, Den Bosch (Netherlands), 2021;
  • Abbaye de Montmajour, Arles (France), 2020;
  • Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern, Kaiserslautern (Germany), 2019;
  • Galerie Suzanne Tarasiève, Paris, 2019;
  • Centre culturel Jean-Cocteau, Les Lilas (France), 2019.
  • The artist also created two public permanent installations in France, in Nantes in 2019, and in Chaumont-sur-Loire in 2018.

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