Exhibition: Disobedient Bodies – JW Anderson

Disobedient Bodies curated by Jonathan Anderson at the Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield.


Anderson is a contemporary fashion designer,who explores the human form in art, fashion and design. He has constructed this exhibition, combining figurative sculptures by artists including Jean Arp, Louise Bourgeois, Lynn Chadwick, Naum Gabo, Barbara Hepworth, Sarah Lucas, Henry Moore, Magali Reus and Dorothea Tanning alongside fashion pieces by designers such as Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo of Commes des Garçons, Helmut Lang and Issey Miyake.

Anderson had the flowing to say, ‘This exhibition is not dictating to you, it is asking you questions. It is more about how you emotionally feel about looking at two things, beside each other.’ He continues, enthusing about the ‘dialogue’ between works, which don’t usually interact, and further more the subjective interpretation of that relationship by individuals.

In my opinion Anderson succeeded in constructing a visually intriguing environment. The exhibition space itself become an installation, with tall curtains forming mini pods within the space, allowing you to peer around corners and uncover the next interaction between works. Although containing primarily fashion pieces, the show gave me new perspective for what ‘clothing’ can be. Wareability was obviously not the primary concern, instead the ordinary was contorted to form completely impractical fashion sculptures, which questioned norms.


The most pertinent work/display for me was ’28 Jumpers’ by JW Anderson himself. As the name suggests the work was a collection of jumpers, however all were extensively elongated and suspended from the ceiling, crating a ‘forest of varying knit patterns and colours. ‘Anderson wanted to create a tactile experience, highlighting the importance of touch in understanding object.’




Author: Crisiant Williams

I am a Fine Art student, studying at Cardiff School of Art and Design.

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