On this month at kurimanzutto in New York, artist Barbara Sánchez-Kane has installed a new body of work that explores a range of expressive modalities between sculpture and clothing design. Sánchez-Kane, who alternatively uses she and he pronouns, is interested in the deconstruction of identities and the duality of the presented self: through her clothes and sculptures, there is a perpetual tearing and fracturing of the structure, voids that seemingly shouldn’t exist, and the recurring repurposing of traditional objects through the destruction of their functionality.
The show walks the viewer through an introductory series of looks at the artist’s work, with the foyer of the gallery housing a pop-up shop of his fashion brand with items from his latest collection, and serving as an opening note to the show, focusing in particular on her sculptural works, pieces which pull in particular from the The Koester School Book of Drapes, which ordered that plinths or structures selling goods were transformed into fashionable and desirable vitrines. Accordingly, the works here stand between display and object, encouraging engagement as both a site for encounter and the framework for the encounter itself. This is countered by the elaborate, repetitive motifs and graphical arrangements of fashion material. Three hanging sculptures made of aluminum were created as a reaction to the dress form fitting system, where mannequins can be modified, enlarged, and stretched to simulate different body types for cloth-making. Sánchez-Kane creates abstract sculptures inspired by this anthropomorphic object, presenting deformed, stretched, and modifiable bodies that use the technology from the fitting system.
Art creates a space for the Sánchez-Kane to disarticulate the elements in the fashion industry with which he does not identify, such as the standardization of bodies through sizes, the ephemerality of tendencies, mass consumption, and fast fashion. On the other hand, fashion is the discipline in which she was trained, and the symbolic space where he organizes her ideas and understands the material world. Through these two lines of thought, Sánchez-Kane translates his observations into sculptural works that exit the fashion arena and reveal their impossibility to function inside it.
The show closes October 21st.
– D. Creahan
Barbara Sánchez-Kane at kurimanzutto [Exhibition Site]