Jonathan Anderson’s Reconfigured Forms

The designer behind JW Anderson curates an exhibition with playfully defiant takes on the human body.

Jonathan Anderson didn’t get to where he is today by following the rules. Fashion insiders revere the 32-year-old designer for his eponymous label, JW Anderson, and its gender-defying silhouettes. He’s also made his mark as the creative director of Loewe, where he’s managed to upend the fashion set’s stale concept of luxury. Given these industry-specific innovations, it’s no surprise that Anderson is moved by artists who challenge tradition.

As the curator of “Disobedient Bodies,” now on view at the Hepworth Wakefield (through June 18), Anderson found himself with a platform to present his take on playfully defiant interpretations of the human form. The result is a cacophony of figural exploration. The showcase of more than 100 sculptures, garments, ceramics, and furnishings on view, normally seen in their own, medium-specific spaces, together offer unexpected revelations. Within the gallery, works by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Constantin Brancusi, and Sarah Lucas engage in dialogue with garments by designers such as Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, and Vivienne Westwood.

Though the project is something of a historical survey, Anderson’s aim is not to be didactic. Rather, he hopes the heterogeneous takes on identity and gender take root in the minds of visitors—to hopefully emerge again later in new, contrarian creations.

(Photos: Lewis Ronald)

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