London Gallery West is delighted to present The Vanishing Art of Camouflage; co-curated by Andrew Groves, Course Director of BA Fashion, and Robert Leach, Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster.
Against a contemporary backdrop of ceaseless military action, camouflage has been adopted by civilians as a ubiquitous pattern of our lives, adorning runways, sportswear, skateboards, toilet papers and even condoms. Used for its striking designs, its ‘patterned disorder’ and its symbolism, the exhibition explores its artistic, fashionable and political use as a strategic and aspirational means to make the visible invisible, and paradoxically the unseen seen.
Using examples that illustrate the development of camouflage from its early military beginnings at the turn of the twentieth century through its varied relationships with artists and designers, the exhibition incorporates still imagery and film to examine the visual, stylistic, sociological, and political context; analysing its widespread appropriation – from fashion to art to architecture.
Featuring a range of historical military garments alongside their adaptive high-end fashion versions, the exhibition also includes a selection of unusual artefacts that have adapted camouflage for their own means, and questions the neutrality of blending in as a means of survival.
The Vanishing Art of Camouflage is the first exhibition to draw extensively from the newly created Westminster Menswear Archive. The archive has been founded for the purpose of establishing a collection of garments and related artefacts to encourage and develop the study of menswear design from a technical and functional point of view. The archive is also intended to advance the general knowledge of menswear as a design discipline, and to be used as a resource tool to inform contemporary menswear design.
Private View: 20 October 2016, 5 - 8pm
Gallery Talk: Andrew Groves and Robert Leach in conversation. 9 November 2016, 1-2pm
Symposium – The Vanishing Art of Camouflage: 7 November 2016
A one-day event examining the history and use of camouflage from its military and artistic roots to its contemporary generic and ubiquitous use, with invited speakers from both the fashion industry and academia.
Details and registration information.