Duro Olowu Selects
This exhibition was on display from March 18, 2022 to August 28, 2022.
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Duro Olowu Selects is the twentieth installment in Cooper Hewitt's Selects series, which invites designers, writers, and cultural figures to explore and interpret objects in the museum's collection. This exhibition is curated by Nigerian-British designer Duro Olowu, who has received international recognition for his eponymous fashion label, textile designs, and curatorial work, which take inspiration from art and artists both known and unknown, his curious and discerning eye, and his cosmopolitan perspective.
Olowu's exhibition highlights the theme of pattern and repetition throughout Cooper Hewitt's collection, demonstrating how designers, artists and makers have relied on pattern to express ideas, preserve heritage, capture attention, and construct objects and environments.
From Olowu's perspective, "Patterns are somewhat of a hidden dialogue, a means of understanding how cultural shifts occur across time and place. They open a window to how knowledge and aesthetics are shared across the globe. When we look at pattern, we don't just see stripes, polka dots, or other geometrical layering, we see each other."
Duro Olowu Selects includes an international selection of works spanning the 17th-21st centuries, from the artisanal to the industrial. Together, they amplify pattern as a key element of the design process and suggest Cooper Hewitt's collection as an evolving expression of both the appreciation and the appropriation of global making traditions for an American audience of practitioners, patrons, and the general public.
The term "Unidentified Maker" appears on object labels in this exhibition when an individual or team of creative partners has not been documented by the museum. The maker's identity may have been unrecorded, unacknowledged, or lost in historical records and untraceable.