The exhibition will draw together a personal selection of sculptures alongside fashion pieces and objects of craft and design to explore the way in which the human form has been reconceived by artists and designers across the 20th and 21st centuries. The selection is shaped by Anderson’s long-standing obsession for modern art and the underlying questions of gender that have been posed by his own fashion collections.
A series of provocative object combinations will draw out unexpected and irreverent readings of the work on display. Figurative sculptures by artists like Louise Bourgeois, Barbara Hepworth, Sarah Lucas, Graham Sutherland and Dorothea Tanning will be brought into direct dialogue with fashion pieces by designers such as Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo, Helmut Lang and Issey Miyake, offering visitors the chance to explore how artists and designers have played with the form of the body and the different ideas surrounding the role of gender and abstraction.
The Irish designer is well known for his forward thinking practises, serving as part of the continuum of the designers eponymous label as a representation of the future: in January the designer streamed his menswear show on the social networking app Grindr. His side projects have seen him only expanding his creative output; Anderson has collobarated with the rapper A$AP Rocky, drawing inspiration from Blaxploitation films, he designed a microstamp for the artist. The exhibition will offer a rare glimpse into his artist process, where different gallery spaces in The Hepworth will present different aspects of Anderson’s creative vision; one of the rooms will deal with the inspirations behind his iconic A/W 13 men’s collection and another will feature works that have inspired the designer, including photographic works of Jamie Hawksworth and Alasdair McLellan.
Jonathan Anderson said: “This is a rare and exciting opportunity for me to bring together some of the works of art and fashion that long inspired my own creative work and to see what happens when these objects rub up against each other. I want the exhibition to mirror the speed and unexpected encounters that characterise the way in which we consume images today, as well as being a space in which to explore ideas of gender and identity that have been an ongoing part of my creative practice”.
Disobedient Bodies: J.W.Anderson
The Hepworth Wakefield
on display from 18 March to 18 June 2017