A Fashion Designer’s Shrewd Eye for Curation

MOMA’s new show “Artist’s Choice: Grace Wales Bonner—Spirit Movers” includes thirty-seven objects from the museum’s collection, many of them no larger than a sheet of typing paper. Yet the effect of the exhibition is hardly minimal—not when its centerpiece is Terry Adkins’s soaring, magnificent sculptural ensemble “Last Trumpet.” Set against the gallery’s back wall, the piece lines up four eighteen-foot-long brass horns that reach nearly to the ceiling, as if ready for a celestial choir. It’s one of many musical elements in a show that Wales Bonner, a fashion designer with a curatorial bent, calls “an archive of soulful expression.” A more expansive view of that archive is available in “Dream in the Rhythm,” a book that accompanies the show. Together, the exhibition and the book are the product of a sensibility that’s both sophisticated and intuitive, making connections across periods, mediums, and styles which are so unexpected that

Read the rest