DISOBEDIENT BODIESby Niamh McCooey
The lines between art and fashion have never been more blurred. With designer Rei Kawakubo’s much celebrated retrospective at New York’s Met Museum (only the second designer ever to occupy the famous gallery) and designer Jonathan Anderson’s exhibition now on at The Hepworth Wakefield in the UK, fashion designers are increasingly being recognised as contemporary artists in their own right. Titled Disobedient Bodies, this major show at The Hepworth Wakefield sees Jonathan, one of the world’s most innovative contemporary fashion designers, explore the human form in art, fashion and design.
Anyone familiar with Jonathan’s work in the fashion world will already know that much of his artistic concern lies in the gender-bending opportunities afforded by his cloths and silhouettes (not unlike Rei’s approach for her famous fashion brand Comme des Garçons). It’s obvious that this playful proposition is echoed in Jonathan’s taste in modern art, choosing to exhibit a wide range of artists known for treading similar ground.
Spanning the 20th and 21st centuries, the collection on display in Disobedient Bodies is shaped by Jonathan’s long-standing passion for modern art. Selected artists include Louise Bourgeois, Barbara Hepworth, Sara Lucas and Henry Moore who are on display alongside pieces by top fashion designers such as Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Rei Kawakubo herself.
As a designer with a reputation for blurring the lines between traditional gender binaries, Jonathan is staying true to his artistic principles in this exhibition by embracing the grey area between art and fashion, breaking down categories and celebrating the ambiguities that lie between.
Disobedient Bodies, 19 March 2014 - 1 January 2019
The Hepworth Wakefield, Gallery Walk, Wakefield, WF1 5AW