âAt Salon 94 Bowery, âMore Material,â an exuberant, illuminating array of art, photography, jewelry, fashion, ceramics and whatnot, has been orchestrated by the lawyer turned fashion designer Duro Olowu. (He organized a smaller exhibition at the gallery in 2012.) With over 70 people represented, it shows how they erode the traditional boundaries between artistic disciplines simply by doing what they want with what is at hand. Crossover efforts by three painters include James Brownâs sea-shell-and-glass necklaces, Amy Bessoneâs torso-shaped ceramic vases and Josh Blackwellâs wall pieces, which consist of embroidery on irregular mats made of layered plastic bags.
Freedom and the pervasiveness of creativity are Mr. Olowuâs big themes, as is the naturalness of mixing: whether it is the contrasting prints of the garments he designs, the variety of things in his London shop and his own collection, or installations like this. Here, he juxtaposes his own gorgeous, often ethereal evening capes with 25 examples from his collection of short tops called bubas, which are made of Ashoke textiles for Yoruban women of high status, and one of Nick Caveâs flamboyantly bejeweled soundsuits, which only the hardiest performer can wear.
Among the photographs are the work of a talented newcomer Sandy Kim, who records strange New York moments in saturated color; the Polaroid portrait studies by the painter Barkley L. Hendricks, and images by lesser-known African studio photographers like Dossa Z. Cosme and Mama Casset. Other unfamiliar names include Sylvie Franquet, who creates needlepoint homages to art and literature and also makes small malformed masks in glazed ceramic; Sarah de Teliga, who paints Cubist abstractions on crushed metal cans; and Cyrus Kabiru, whose handmade metal eyewear is best taken as strange, insectlike sculpture. There are wonderful ceramic vessels by Adam Silverman, Gareth Mason, Tommaso Corvi-Mora, Magdalene Odundo, Summer Wheat and Matthias Merkel Hess. His casts of a West African water kettle amount to very large (and heavy) teapots that might have been glazed by Marimekko.
Mr. Olowu has an omnivorous but exacting eye. Looking at his shows is both humbling and instructive, especially where color is concerned. Itâs too bad he canât be cloned. The curatorial profession sorely needs wide-open sensibilities like his.
To read the article click here.