“Glam!” at the Tate Liverpool
||Bryan Ferry leads “such an avant-garde, art-directed existence he should be hanging in the Tate,” says British style guru Peter York. And pop art pioneer Richard Hamilton regards Ferry as his own “greatest creation.” The Roxy Music
singer studied art under Hamilton at Newcastle University from 1964 to
1968. Now, the style-conscious star has indeed become museum
material—not, that is, as a living work of art, but in the form of the
glamorous cover of the first Roxy Music LP, designed by Ferry’s former
classmate, graphic designer Nicholas de Vill. These artifacts from the early 1970s can now be seen in the exhibition Glam! The Performance of Style, which following its premiere at Tate Liverpool will travel to the Frankfurt Schirn and the Lentos Kunstmuseum
in Linz. The show represents the very first exploration into the
multiple influences the glam aesthetic has exerted on art, photography,
fashion, and graphic design. On view are works by artists like David Hockney, Sigmar Polke, Katharina Sieverding, Allen Jones, and Jürgen Klauke, all of whom are part of the Deutsche Bank Collection. In addition, Glam! presents Guy Bourdin’s extremely stylized fashion photos, star portraits of Mick Rock, and Jack Smith’s legendary underground films that influenced a variety of artists ranging from Cindy Sherman to Mike Kelley.
Transformer is the title of Sieverding’s 1973/74 photo series on view in Glam!. The faces of the artist and her partner Klaus Mettig
are superimposed in double exposure. This game with the androgynous,
equally exemplified by Klauke’s photographic self-orchestrations, also
titled Transformer, is typical for the glam era: suddenly, singers with blue eye shadow and long hair were taking over TV shows like Top of the Pops.
Conventional ideas about identity and gender were called radically into
question, not only in art. The avant-garde, pop art, performance, and
camp banded together to create an ultra-artificial aesthetic.
Visitors to the exhibition can also immerse themselves deeply into the world of glam with the help of Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s installation Celebration? Realife,
which the artist has been recreating in a series of changing variations
since 1972. Glitter, disco balls, pulsating colored light, magazines
strewn about, and kitschy objects join together to form a multimedia
ensemble somewhere between trash and the environments of Paul Thek. The soundtrack is provided by David Bowie, to whom the Victoria and Albert Museum in London will dedicate a major exhibition beginning at the end of March. The opulent show’s 300 objects trace the entire career of the Thin White Duke.
Glam! The Performance of Style
2/8 – 5/12/2013
6/14 – 9/22/2013
Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz
October 2013 – January 2014
David Bowie is
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
3/23 – 7/28/2013