Currently on view at New York’s Waves and Archives, artist Sinead O’Dwyer presents a selection of new works, returning to her nuanced silicone works alongside work created for an upcoming performance at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The exhibition, which marks the artist’s first in New York, makes for an engaging entry in her body of work, and look at her intricate incorporation of human bodies and synthetic materials.
O’Dwyer’s work is built from fiberglass models, life-casting the human body and using it as the initial framework over which she works silver, silver and silicone to render the final objects. Her models, culled from personal friends and frequent collaborators, marks something of a biographical aspect to her work, allowing her to fold human interactions, emotional linkages and memories into these static works, an ever-evolving archive bound up in the materials and final forms presented here.
Similarly, one could read these as a sort of reinvestigated relationship between artist and muse, the concrete physicality of the human form taking over from the relationship between the artist’s hand and eye. Instead, the relationship of touch, of the artist’s hand in direct engagement with the body of another, is prioritized here, a new mode of contact-based practice that invites a re-evaluation of how the artistic practice might be considered in a hyper-networked landscape. Interiority takes center stage here, filling in the space in which a traditional depiction of the model might have originally stood, and the relationship between body and image is accordingly transformed. We are left with shells and skins, surfaces that bear testament to deeper relationships with the body and the artist’s own history, phenomena we might never get full access to as viewers, but which we are nevertheless welcome to visually revel in.
Sinéad O’Dwyer’s solo exhibition In Myself is the official launch of the Waves and Archives platform and the inaugural show in its nomadic gallery function. Waves and Archives, founded by Manan Ter-Grigoryan with Julian A. Jimarez Howard and Marianna Kosheleva, is a platform for the exploration of fashion as art. Conceived to nurture an environment where fashion artists can operate as contemporary artist, its mission is to examine fashion with the same considerations that are given to all other mediums of art. Waves and Archives is the first art gallery in the world dedicated to representing exclusively fashion artists.
The show is on view through April 3rd.
— D. Creahan
Waves and Archives [Exhibition Site]