The Costume Institute
’s spring exhibition celebrates the Japanese avant-garde designer of the fashion house Comme des Garçons, only the second living designer to have a monographic exhibition
at the museum since Yves Saint Laurent in 1983 (until 4 September). Comprising around 150 womenswear designs dating from the house’s debut in the early 1980s to the most recent collection, the show explores previously undisclosed elements of the designer’s career (Kawakubo rarely gives interviews or discusses the concept of her collections). “Although she still rejects the label of artist for herself, preferring the epithet ‘clothes maker’, she’s begun to consider fashion as art,” says the curator Andrew Bolton, who collaborated with the designer in organising the show.
As part of the biennial Hugo Boss Prize
held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
—in addition to the $100,000—Anicka Yi is showing an installation that includes olfactory art, a long-held interest. In this case, the central scent, named Immigrant Caucus, is based on chemical compounds drawn from Asian American women and carpenter ants (until 5 July). “Hopefully the installation inspires a wide and unpredictable range of responses, but one thing I think visitors might turn over in their minds after seeing the show is the way sensory perception is powerfully influenced by cultural forces and assumptions, rather than being purely biological in nature,” says the show’s curator, Katherine Brinson.
Originally making pristine, if relatively rigid, geometric abstractions, the late artist Lygia Pape—now one of the most important figures in Brazilian Modern art—reached artistic maturity under Brazil’s military dictatorship, from 1964 to 1985. About halfway through Lygia Pape: a Multitude of Forms
at the Met Breuer
(until 23 July), Pape’s first career survey in the US, viewers encounter a projected video of a vast white cloth cut with holes from which dozens of smiling faces poke through. Titled Divisor (Divider), this participatory work, first staged in 1968 in Rio de Janeiro, is an encapsulation of some of Brazilian Neo-Concretism’s main claims and ambitions: to make the activation of space a political metaphor.