“Garmenting,” which runs through August 14, 2022 at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, is an international group exhibition that explores costume as a medium. The exhibition is guest curated by Alexandra Schwartz, a New York-based art historian, curator, and adjunct professor in the School of Graduate Studies at SUNY, Fashion Institute of Technology. Comprising sculpture, installation, garments, and performance art, the show explores various artists’ concept of dress as a critical tool to address aspects of subjectivity including gender, class, race, and ethnicity. Yinka Shonibare, Mary Sibande, and Zoe Buckman are among the other artists showcased.
This wide-ranging and visually marvelous show brings together works by 35 international contemporary artists including Yinka Shonibare, Mary Sibande, Zoe Buckman, and Jeffrey Gibson, as well as several emerging artists exhibiting in the United States for the first time. The exhibition is divided into five themes: functionality, gender, performance, activism, and cultural difference. While all the artists in the show in some way create or repurpose garments for creative ends, their expressions vary widely, from the personal to the outwardly political, the celebratory to the foreboding. For many of the artists on view, garmenting is an apt embodiment of our contemporary blurring of traditional distinctions, both cultural and social. While some works champion this hybridization of cultures, others seek to preserve fading local traditions and communities.