Exploring the origins and lasting significance of a dynamic, subversive, and interactive art form
This is the first publication to consider art to wear, also known as wearable art, as a discrete American movement that mirrored the cultural, political, social, and spiritual concerns of a generation that came of age in the late 1960s and 1970s. Trained primarily in the fine arts, they adopted nontraditional forms, materials, and techniques to create works using the body as an armature. Collectively, these practitioners have had a significant but underrecognized impact on art making and education. Their legacy continues today among younger artists who have embraced multimedia forms of expression.
Rich archival and newly commissioned photography bring to life one-of-a-kind work by more than 75 artists, including Gaza Bowen, Jean Cacicedo, Marian Clayden, Ben Compton, Marika Contompasis, Nicki Hitz Edson, Tim Harding, Sharron Hedges, Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Nina Vivian Huryn, Whitney Kent, Ina Kozel, Susanna Lewis, Janet Lipkin, K. Lee Manuel, Linda Mendelson, Norma Minkowitz, Anna VA Polesny, Debra Rapoport, Mario Rivoli, Dina Knapp, Joan Steiner, Arlene Stimmel, Jamie Summers, JoEllen Trilling, and Katherine Westphal. Off the Wall
provides a detailed introduction to art to wear between 1967 and 1997 and elucidates the movement's origins by linking it to developments in the arts of the period, from fiber art to painting.