When someone brings up the topic of visual arts, most minds would wander to the Masters from olden eras. Van Gogh and his Sunflowers, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Kahlo’s self portraits and Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring immediately come to mind. When asked about contemporary artists, perhaps one would talk about Warhol and his revolutionary pop art movement or his partner in crime, the crowned Neo-Expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat. While all those artists were undoubtedly talented, few people would be able to name a Canadian artist, dead or alive. This may change very soon thanks to the Guggenheim’s exhibit of Agnes Martin.
Agnes Martin was an artist born in the province of Saskatchewan before moving to America to further her education and ultimately spend the remaining of her years in Mexico. How does all this information tie in with my blog you may ask? Agnes was well known for being a minimalist and in honour of her Guggenheim exhibit, COS created a special line based off of her works. The 12 piece collection was highly influenced by her iconic geometric compositions. Martin’s works were often subdued in colour which is reflected in the hues and fabrics used for the collection.
I will admit how eager I was to see the collection when I first heard that it was in the making. Upon closer inspection, the clothes would have fit perfectly well with the COS label in any given collection. The geometry and structure of the pieces are things that I have grown accustomed to from the brand but they do retain some of Agnes Martin’s spirits in their shapes and patterns. There is a true symbiosis between the brand and the artist, something that is often overlooked when combining two entities with such distinct brand identities.
For this blog post, I chose to feature the blue men pants from the line. While a lot of pieces were interesting (including a “striped” white shirt were all the stripes were hand stitched), the pants truly caught my attention. Blue and Didier usually equals to a match made in Heaven but the cut of the pants intrigued me. The relaxed fit paired with the weight of the fabric created a very interesting shape that is rarely seen in men’s pants and the matching belt tied the look together beautifully.
It is not a piece that I would necessarily wear on a day-to-day basis but one needs to give merit where merit is due. Those pants, just like Agnes Martin’s works, could be considered wearable minimal art and a fantastic example of self expression, something that the artist would most definitely smile upon.
Jacket by The Kooples/ Turtleneck by UNIQLO/ Pants by COS X Agnes Martin Guggenheim 2016/ Shoes by Gucci