SQUASH COURT: Loewe continues to throw its weight behind contemporary art, and its latest project is a collaboration with Anthea Hamilton in her new Tate Britain Show “The Squash,” which opens Thursday and combines live performances and sculpture.
Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson worked with Hamilton, a Turner Prize nominee known for her bold, humorous approach, to create seven costumes worn by the show’s performers. The costumes, as the show’s title would suggest, are squash-like, with rounded headpieces and lots of colored stripes.
Hamilton and Anderson said they wanted to incorporate the colors and shapes of varieties of squash and pumpkins, and highlight organic textures such as hand-painted leathers and silk crepes. The result is a lineup of striped trousers and jumpsuits, dramatic ruffled silk shirts and leather blouses with exaggerated pleated sleeves, all worn with giant headpieces in the shape of pumpkins.
Performers will choose a costume each day to reflect the character they set out to inhabit during that day’s presentation. The works of art on display were also chosen by Hamilton for their organic forms and structures. For the show, the Duveen Galleries have been transformed with more than 7,000 white floor tiles, which serve as the backdrop for the sculptures displayed and the performance of a single character dressed in Loewe costumes.
“Anthea Hamilton has made a unique contribution to British and international art with her visually playful works that both provoke and delight,” said Alex Farquharson, director at the Tate Britain. “This compelling commission demonstrates her ability to seamlessly weave together captivating images and narratives, creating rich new environments in which to encounter works of art.”
Anderson has always used contemporary art as a reference in his design work, exaggerated proportions and crafty fabrics being some of his signatures. He has also been spearheading the Loewe Foundation’s annual Craft Prize, which spotlights modern craftsmanship. The work of this year’s nominees will be showcased in an exhibition at the Design Museum in London in May.