Saturday, January 29, 2005



London's Tate Modern discusses the concept of Conceptual Art in this manner:

"As befits its title 'Conceptual Art' raises more questions than it answers. There is considerable debate as to when it began, who was involved, where it was made, and what constituted it. What is certain is that it challenged the notion of producing traditional objects to look at and thereby denied the viewer the opportunity for aesthetic contemplation. Simply stated, Conceptual art is art about ideas."

The synthesis of art and clothing trends has become an on-going thesis in art venues worldwide, and will continue to garner even more interest in the near future; hence the recent exhibit, On Conceptual Clothing at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo, Japan.

This ground-breaking group show, which closed last month, successfully continued to establish clothing as an unique art form and featured the works of participating artists and designers from all over the world such as Issey Miyake (Pleats Please!), Yasumasa Morimura and Marie-Ange Guilleminot.

You can see images of the On Conceptual Clothing Exhibition at this link. For further information, the Musashino Art University is located at 1-736 Ogawacho, Kodaira-shi, Tokyo 187-8505 and can ve reached at 042-342-6003.


Jenni Dutton is one of the most popular conceptual clothing artists today. Utilizing the very fabric of Gaia in the creation of her one of a kind conceptual clothing, Dutton has created pieces redolent with the history of the feminine and replete with rare and unique construction and decoration. Through her personal research with ancient clothing design techniques and forms, she is able to incorporate that knowledge in her art, classes and workshops.

‘A Walk In The Woods’ is one of Jenni Dutton’s creations; a fragile dress made from nature, poetry and memories. She writes,

“...The silver quilting threads running up the dress refer to the webs, the blue on the hem to the river. One morning in January I found the brightest red fungus cups spread about the floor of the wood on moss and dead trees. Some are used on the dress, I am not sure if they will last. The dress is about the walks in this wood. Feathers, egg shells and dead spiders were collected and quilted into the dress...”

Dutton is currently participating in a touring exhibtion of Conceptual Clothing entitled: 'Footsteps', during which nine artists respond to a particular exhibit from a museum of their choice. This special exhibition will tour through September 2005. You can see more of her work and get more information on her upcoming exhbitions and workshops here.


Back in 2000, New York City’s Whitney Museum of American Art welcomed home a touring exhibition known as The Warhol Look,which focused on the late artist Andy Warhol’s contributions to the world of fashion.

One of the pieces featured was Warhol’s infamous Campbell Soup Dress of 1966-1967. At the time it was introduced to the public, the paper dress (content: 80% cellulose, 20% cotton) was a nod towards Warhol’s seminal pop art print of the soup cans and, at the same time, a distinct tweaking to the disposable and rather self-centered mores which existed at the time.

Described by the Warhol camp as the ‘Pop Art Souper Dress’, it was sent to the lucky purchaser for the mere price of $11.00 and came packaged in its own plastic bag with a matching ‘Souper Hat’ and instructions for care. And today? Just recently, a Warhol Campbell Soup dress was sold by New York’s Sotheby’s Auction House for $6,900.

If you reside in Southern California, you can actually see a framed version at Wasteland, a popular vintage clothing store located at 1338 4th Street in Santa Monica, CA. Ph.:(310) 395-2620). Oh, sorry...the Dress is not for sale.

It is said that conceptual artists do not work with the traditional methodologies of art; thereby confusing their audiences with art which may be unfamiliar or unrecognizable; and in an alternative setting as well. I personally believe that is the true purpose of art, i.e. to shake us to the bone and allow us to think beyond the box. I'm looking forward to the future of Contemporary Conceptual Art and Clothing. My expectation is to be challenged, excited and even a little mystified...all in the name of Art.

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