[“][A]rt is looking at fashion, fashion is looking at art,” LOEWE’s creative director Jonathan Anderson said last year. Supporting next-gen stars in the art world and championing different modes of expression is something the Irish designer is devoting a lot of his time to these days (recently he unveiled 30 shortlisted artists for the 2018 edition of the LOEWE Craft Prize exhibited at the Design Museum this summer).
The latest art x fashion incarnation is an avant-garde spin on the styles from the seventies, in collaboration with acclaimed British sculptor and 2016 Turner Prize nominee Anthea Hamilton. With seven costumes designed by Jonathan Anderson “that incorporate the colours and shapes of varieties of squash or pumpkin,” Hamilton presents a new immersive exhibition The Squash, as part of her Tate Britain Duveen Commission.
Influenced by the early 20th century French writer and dramatist Antonin Artaud’s call for the ‘physical knowledge of images’, Hamilton was inspired by a sourceless image she found of a person dressed in a squash-like costume. “The viewer must imagine its history and intention. It is here the artist brings together tiles, structures, sculptures and costumes, inviting the performer to explore their own interpretation of the image.”
Covering the floor of the neoclassical gallery in 7,000 white bathroom-style tiles, The Squash inspired the organic textures of the costumes and heads, that range from hand painted leather to printed silk crepon, while 1970s clothing references shaped some of the silhouettes. Performers will select a costume each day, informing and reflecting their individual presentation often character as they inhabit the space.
“Anthea Hamilton has made a unique contribution to British and International Art with her visually playful works that both provoke and delight,” says Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain. “This compelling commission demonstrates her ability to seamlessly weave together captivating images and narratives, creating rich new environments in which to encounter works of art.”