J. W. Anderson at The Hepworth Wakefield

Expect to see the human body in a new light at fashion designer J. W. Anderson's takeover of a Yorkshire gallery

Feature by The Skinny North | 16 Mar 2017
  • Henry Moore Reclining Figure

One of Britain's most successful young fashion designers, Jonathan Anderson offers a response to The Hepworth Wakefield's modern art collection in a major new exhibition opening this March.

Titled 'Disobedient Bodies', the show sees the 33-year-old – who as well as running his own J. W. Anderson label is creative director of Spanish luxury brand Loewe – bring works from the gallery's catalogue of contemporary British art together with selected design pieces, in order to create thought-provoking contrasts and 'dialogues'. 

Visitors can expect to see garments by designers including Issey Miyake, Helmut Lang and Christian Dior placed in conversation with figurative works from artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Sarah Lucas and Alberto Giacometti. Sculptures by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, the two Wakefield-born artists who lie at the core of The Hepworth's collection, will feature prominently; further pieces come from modernist pioneer Constantin Brancusi, abstract-leaning French artist Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Turner Prize winner Rebecca Warren, amongst others.

Born out of Anderson's personal interest in modern art, the exhibition not only invites the audience to consider how the human body has been reimagined through time but also offers an insight into Anderson's own creative vision, which has often played with gender fluidity and non-traditional silhouettes. Pieces from his ruffle-tastic A/W 13 menswear collection will be on display, and the designer himself should be in a buoyant mood after a very well-received presentation of his A/W 17 collection at London Fashion Week in February.

The gallery spaces will be transformed by textiles hung to create a series of smaller, intimate rooms, and you'll even be able to pull on some togs for yourself as part of a tactile experience featuring giant knitted garments designed by Anderson, engouraging visitors to play with shape and touch. 

Disobedient Bodies is the first in a series of collaborative exhibitions, which will see The Hepworth work with figures from creative fields outside the visual arts including fashion and music, film and literature, to challenge what we expect to see in an art gallery. 

Disobedient Bodies: J.W. Anderson at The Hepworth Wakefield, 18 Mar-18 Jun, Tue-Sun 10am-5pm (closed Mondays), free http://hepworthwakefield.org