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Making & Unmaking: An Exhibition Curated By Duro Olowu

  • Art, Textiles
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
This exhibition is a rarity: it breaks the rules but gets it right. Set in one of London’s loveliest local galleries, Camden Arts Centre, the show is curated not by an art-world regular, but by iconoclastic fashion designer Duro Olowu. His selection spans mediums, countries and centuries with seeming abandon. It’s totally fun.
Nigerian-born, London-based Olowu, famed for his mixing-and-mismatching of African fabrics and other textiles from around the world, has brought together a whopping collection of works that have inspired him. There’s everything from shots by recently deceased Malian street-style photographer Malick Sidibé to awe-inducing knotted hemp-rope sculptures by Indian artist Mrinalini Mukherjee.
Olowu has included tons of brilliant female artists, including heavy hitters such as Louise Bourgeois and Lygia Clark, and contemporary artists such as Turner Prize-nominated Anya Gallaccio, with her giant hammocky ropework in the back garden. 
One of the exhibition’s focal points is Anni Albers, the American wife of German artist and educator Josef Albers, and a prominent member of the Bauhaus design movement during the interwar period. Spurred on by the fact that women were at that time discouraged from taking up certain disciplines, including architecture, Albers turned her acute eye to textiles, and her geometrically grounded pieces – necklaces, tapestries – still resonate as perfectly modern and ancient at once.
There’s a lot to take in, and with so many works on display – hundreds from more than 60 artists – it feels like you’re in some kind of workshop, a space filled with bits and bobs brought together by a buzzing mind at work. The whole thing feels intimate and effortless while retaining Olowu’s signature sophisticated mark. Totally fun. 
Written by
Ananda Pellerin


Opening hours:
From Jun 19, Tue, Thu-Sun 10am-6pm, Wed 10am-9pm, ends Sep 18
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