Sunday, August 1, 2010

What's on the Calendar in August?

I can hardly believe that it is already August. Where did the summer go? Here is a list of my summer must-see exhibitions:

Yves Saint Laurent at the Petit Palais, Musee de Beaux Arts in Paris until August 29, 2010

This retrospective of Yves Saint Laurent's work covers the period from 1962-2002 and includes over 250 garments from this master of haute couture and ready-to-wear. The exhibition also includes recreations of Saint Laurent's studio, private "dreaming" room, and a wardrobe designed for Catherine Deneuve.

While I won't actually get to see this exhibition in person, I saw a similar exhibition in Montreal in 2008, which opened just before the death of this great designer. To read more about the retrospective, please click here. I also wrote extensively about Yves Saint Laurent after his death, including a post called Lessons from Saint Laurent, which can be read here. (It seems like an interesting coincidence to write this post today as Yves Saint Laurent was born on August 1, 1936.)

Person, Place and Thing at the Textile Museum of Canada on until September 6, 2010

In this exhibition of portrait-based works by artists David R. Harper, Lia Cook and Stephen Schofield, textiles and sculpture intersect in an unexpected fashion. All three artists make large scale work that is tactile which draws the viewer into a sensory encounter with "embroidered, sewn and women narratives of nature, identity and history."  This exhibition affirms my belief that embroidery and sculpture are powerful forms of expression. (I will be taking a workshop called Rogue Embroidery with David Harper later this month and hope it will inspire me to take my textile-based artwork to a new level of development.)

American Women, Fashioning a National Identity at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on until August 15, 2010.

Eighty faceless mannequins present the history of American style from 1890 to 1940 as defined into distinct archetypes including The Hieress, The Gibson Girl, The Bohemian, The Patriot and the Suffragette, The Flapper, and The Screen Siren. Animated throughout by music, lighting and video projections, the exhibition culminates in a video montage of images reflecting the modern American woman including Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Serena Williams, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe.

While on the surface this may simply seem like another costume exhibit, at the core of it is an exploration of the  evolution of women's social, political and sexual emancipation as reflected in their clothing.  (And this is something that is a touchstone in my artwork). If you are unable to make it to the Met before the exhibition closes on August 15th, you can see a YouTube video of the exhibition here.