Body Proxy: Clothing in Contemporary Art

September 1 — December 13, 2015
Ellen Johnson Gallery

Body Proxy examines contemporary approaches to clothing as a material in art. Due to their intimate associations with the body, articles of clothing function as powerful metaphors for the human condition. Clothes offer their wearers warmth and protection, while also communicating valuable information about public identity and status. Even when discarded, clothes retain poignant traces of the individuals to whom they once belonged, and become stand-ins—or proxies—for the human body. 

The exhibition features sculpture and mixed media works that utilize clothing as their primary materials, ranging from 1960 to the present. Stemming from the AMAM collection as well as a number of loans, Body Proxy highlights works by 30 international artists including Joseph Beuys, Jim Dine, Leonardo Drew, and Doris Salcedo.

Curated by Denise Birkhofer, Ellen Johnson ’33 Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, with assistance from Mallory Cohen (OC ’15)

Jim Dine (American, b. 1935)
Hanging Chair #2, 1960
Oil on three-legged chair with pieces of jewelry, purse, undershirt, plastic and string
Gift of Tom Wesselmann, 1972.90