Music, books, exhibitions … : a look at the season’s highlights.
Now for something completely different: after a debut album of stripped–back, heart–rending folk, Irish singer–songwriter James Vincent McMorrow has taken himself off to a no man’s land somewhere by the Mexican border, and set aside his guitar to wander through more complex, abstract musical lands. Still driven by McMorrow’s goose–fleshy falsetto, the album is lush with melancholic tracks and ripe with sumptuous arrangements. Soaring soul music that finds inspiration in Bon Iver as well as James Blake. post tropIcal ( Vagrant ).
For centuries, Italy has amassed expertise in clothes–related crafts, from spinning, dyeing and weaving to cutting cloth. Building on the robust health of these industries, Italian haute couture rose to worldwide fame in the 1950s under the energetic impetus of entrepreneur Giovanni Battista Giorgini. After the dark years of fascism and defeat in 1945, Italy was ready to hold its head high again, and challenged Paris on its home turf of luxury and prestige. Sponsored by Bulgari, The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945–2014 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London tells of this irresistible ascension through sumptuous ensembles from the museum’s own collections of Italian fashion, as well as international loans from private foundations and haute couture houses. 5th April to 27th July at the V& A Museum ( London ).
Robert Heinecken started out as a fighter pilot in the American Marine Corps, stuffing his shoes with magazine pages to make up the few centimetres he lacked to reach regulation height. Trampling the print press underfoot seems to have given him artistic ideas: his work revolves around the recontextualising of images taken from newspapers, catalogues, magazines, etc., and in many cases delivers a politico–ironic statement about the image’s dictatorial rule. Heinecken, who described himself as a “para– photographer”, embarked on a criticism of mass– media society. “I do something to see what it looks like, and to see if it can look like something else.”
robert heInecken: object matter 15th March to 22nd June at the MoMa ( New York ).
Jock Sturges sold his first photo when he was 11, to the mother of a boarding–school roommate. He photographed a lot of boys before discovering the female body, when America had its sexual revolution. He learned about feminism, then discovered naturism, which became central to his work. One of Sturges’s aims is to have us view nudity independently of any sexual subtext, and Fanny conveys this Edenic approach of a time before sin and shame. For twenty–three years he made portraits of his goddaughter Fanny, naked because she had grown up in a naturist environment. Jock Sturges lives in Seattle. He has published several famous monographs, including The Last Day of Summer ( 1992 ) and Evolution of Grace ( 1994 ), after he was cleared of FBI accusations of violating child–pornography laws.
Fanny Steidl, €80.