[Current examples of Gogo's work]
Perhaps taking cues from The Met's massively influential Costume Institute, more fine art museums in the U.S. are embracing fashion and I've been wondering if the High in Atlanta -- where there is a very strong decorative arts and design collection but no curatorial department specifically for textiles and costume -- might organize something fashion adjacent. Happily, the answer is yes.
Kicking off 2013 will be Gogo: Nature Transformed, opening January 19 and continuing through June 23. Cumberland Island-based designer Janet Ferguson, aka Gogo, has long worked with shells, bones, and cast silver and gold, creating housewares, jewelry, and accessories influenced by her wild surroundings. When I look at her metal shell serving spoons and seed pod belt buckles, I see connections with both the High's old silver and modern pieces.
[Maine Seaweed Cuff, 2008. Alpaca. Designed by Gogo Ferguson (b. 1951) and Hannah Sayre-Thomas (b. 1985). Made by Julio Miguel Pérez Rodríguez, 2008-present. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Peter Harholdt. Via High Museum of Art.]
For next year's retrospective exhibition (her first museum show, BTW), Ferguson will create specifically for the High a sea urchin-inspired ottoman and a six by eight foot seaweed-inspired wall sculpture. Fans will also notice Gogo's earlier natural bone designs: In all, 63 works accompanied by a catalogue with a foreword from Mikhail Baryshnikov and an interview by High curator Sarah Schleuning.
[John Folsom, photography on board with oil and wax medium. Image courtesy the artist.]
Related past post: Summering at the End of Empire.