Culture

J.W. Anderson Curates Disobedient Bodies

jw anderson disobedient bodies exhibition

Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, 1936. The Hepworth Wakefield (Wakefield Permanent Art Collection). Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo: Stuart Whipps

Fashion and art often blur the boundaries, with each medium taking inspiration from – and even merging to become an extension of – the other. This has been most recently realised at ‘Disobedient Bodies’, the exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield curated by J.W. Anderson.

With an approach to design that bends traditional ideas of masculinity and femininity to create thought-provoking silhouettes for his eponymous label – along with his carefree and creative reinvention of old-school Spanish brand Loewe – Anderson is no stranger to thinking outside the box. An art exhibition, then, is a natural step, and one that he’s been able to pull off with aplomb.

Installation shot of Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson curates The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo: Lewis Ronald. Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield.

Installation shot of Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson curates The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo: Lewis Ronald. Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield

Inspired by early work from Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, Disobedient Bodies is a collection of more than 100 pieces of art, fashion, ceramics and design from the 20th and 21st centuries, all exploring the way artists depict the human form.

Sculptures by artists including Louise Bourgeois, Naum Gabo, Dorothea Tanning and the aforementioned Hepworth and Moore, sit alongside fashion pieces from the Christian Dior, Helmut Lang, Issey Miyake and Vivienne Westwood archives, all set in a series of rooms dressed in J.W. Anderson fabric.

Installation shot of Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson curates The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo: Lewis Ronald. Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield

Installation shot of Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson curates The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo: Lewis Ronald. Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield

In a way, this exhibition is not only an artistic extension of fashion, but an extension of the northern Irish designer himself. As Anderson commented: “This is a rare and exciting opportunity for me to bring together pieces of art and fashion that have 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.”

Installation shot of Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson curates The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo: Lewis Ronald. Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield

Installation shot of Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson curates The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo: Lewis Ronald. Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield

Disobedient Bodies: J.W. Anderson curates The Hepworth Wakefield is on display from 18 March to 18 June 2017. For more information, visit the gallery’s website.

Installation shot of Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson curates The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo: Lewis Ronald. Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield

Installation shot of Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson curates The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo: Lewis Ronald. Courtesy The Hepworth Wakefield

Words by Angharad Jones



Angharad Jones

Angharad Jones

Writer and expert