Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gareth Pugh and Epstein lovers?

Imagine the love child? Although, considering Matthew Collings' recent article "The Shape of Things" (Wallpaper*, September, page 95), maybe this would be a slightly incestuous union.

It's a delicious article and he conjures up comparisons between Dior and Kapoor, Sander and Serra, Hepworth and Chanel and Margiela and Picasso. This is a taster:

"Gareth Pugh's new collection, for instance, goes in for the un-normal. Think of artifice based on nature, of leaf forms, body armour, segmentation, breastplates - a carapace for the body - or a creature emerging from a chrysalis.

What is it that Boccioni does with his sculpture in London's Tate Modern, "Unique Forms of Continuity in Space", or Jacob Epstein does with "Rock Drill", at New York's MOMA (both made in 1913)? Man as machine, man moving through space - as if when an artist conceptualises human movement, he comes up with a form that looks a bit machine-like.

The pleasure of Gareth Pugh's outfits is different in that he's ironic where modernists in the 20th century were sincere; they were influenced by the threat to nature of new industrial forms, but Pugh seems more influenced by the movies, by the sub or superhumans in "Edward Scissorhands" or "Alien". Those films draw attention to the body's dynamism and power in a twisted way, and so does he, but in a more exquisite, crafted way".

It's a must read.

(Pictured: Jacob Epstein "Rock Drill" 1913 and Gareth Pugh - Autumn/Winter 2008)

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