The Contemporary Art of Clothing
March 4 – May 13, 2012
Each day, every one of us adorns our bodies in some way. We can all relate to wearing clothing, and we all instinctively know that clothing has meaning and the power to communicate who we are and where we are going. From March 4 – May 13, the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek explores the trappings of clothing with Outfitters: The Contemporary Art of Clothing.
About the Exhibition
Outfitters features 19 artists who create surreal narratives about clothing, or use clothes or their armature, to explore concepts of memory, identity and human nature. Artists in Outfitters hail from around the world and work on the conceptual edge of craft, creating artworks that address our deep-seated attachment to what we – and others – wear. Artworks include London based Elisabeth Lecourt’s meticulously folded maps that she transforms into delicate garments, and Beverly Rayner’s Accretion, a mesmerizing, room-size sculpture of a robe, created from a life-time collection of ephemera—from birth notices and love letters, to photos and greeting cards.
The show also features Los Angeles artist James Gilbert, who will create a haunting, 12-foot high, site-specific piece draped with discarded and worn remnants of every type of clothing. Gilbert’s Workers is meant to spark conversations about the garment industry labor force, a group that is often exploited – and forgotten. Also commenting on the labor force is Jeremiah Jenkins with his sculpture that draws uncanny parallels between the working class and a samurai warrior.
“Many of the artworks reference the nature and value of clothing, transforming it into a sculpture with a historic or political reference, or a narrative story” says Bedford Gallery Curator Carrie Lederer. “Since the Middle Ages, the ways in which people cover or adorn our bodies provide ample clues about their lives – from social status and profession to ethnicity. There is an inherent political statement in our outerwear, and many of the artworks beg the questions: ‘What is beauty?’ ‘How is it defined?’ And, ‘who defines it?’”
Jody Alexander, Michael Arcega, Renee Billingslea, Libby Black, Nick Cave, Pip Culbert, Vic De La Rosa, Margo Jones Duvall, Susan Fenton, James Gilbert, Allyson Hollingsworth, Jeremiah Jenkins, Charlotte Kruk, Robin Lasser & Adrienne Pao, Elisabeth Lecourt, Victoria May, Laura Raboff, Beverly Rayner, Rose Sellery.