Inside Jonathan Anderson's First-Ever Art Basel Miami Exhibit for Loewe
Loewe Creative Director Jonathan Anderson manages to split his time whipping up award-winning collections for both the 170-year-old Spanish brand and his namesake J.W. Anderson line, but don't think the 30-year-old designer's busy schedule means he lacks the ability to remain constantly inspired. "When you're in your own narrow head all of the time you're coming up with ludicrous things, so through that process I think creativity is born, and I think that's what drives me in a weird way," he tells InStyle of his natural way of conceiving new ideas.
That artistic tenacity is exactly what drew the young talent from stepping away from his work for 48 hours (he soon has to shoot a Loewe men's lookbook for next season, among many other projects on his to-do list) to stop in to Miami's Design District Wednesday night and celebrate "Chance Encounters," an exhibition of the works of artists Lucie Rie (ceramist), Paul Nash (painter and photographer), Rose Wylie (painter), and Anthea Hamilton (sculptor) that he's curated for Art Basel Miami inside the venerable brand's only U.S. locale. So what provoked his action towards the passion project? "This exhibition I came up with on the way back from Miami the last time," he says, adding that he's obsessed with each of the artist's work and asked himself, "'Why not do an exhibition there, why not? The time is now to do it.' And within six months it was done."
The finalized project is a successful one. Inside of the store, the artists' pieces are centered in and around the permanent 18th century Spanish granary building that Anderson himself visualized as its centerpiece, which is now expected to help play host to future similarly-minded exhibitions through the Loewe Foundation, the brand's cultural wing. "It was just this idea of past, present, and future," he says of the exhibition, explaining that it's also about the juxtaposition of the value of art and how to experience it from various vantage points. "For me it's about culture. It's about, how would you create a cultural brand?"
The search for a cultural hotspot is also why Anderson consistently returns to Miami, where the brand now conducts research and is a frequent point of travel for the designer. "I've kind of fallen in love with the city," he adds. "I'm very proud of it and i think because of the store being here, I then become proud of Miami. I'm hoping that one day people will look at the store and be like, 'Well, that risk paid off.'"
His guiding philosophy for both Loewe's future collections and his position within the brand is clear. "Loewe has become incredibly personal to me as a brand and it's something I've spent half my life doing—I would do anything for it. I work that way. I can't do anything in halves," he says. "If we could move this building to Miami, then we can do anything."
"Chance Encounters" is now open inside Loewe's Miami store through Jan. 17, 2016—see some of the art pieces on display below.
Lucie Rie's ceramic pieces top the 18th century granary building.
Anthea Hamilton. "Alabaster Legr," alabaster and perspex, 2015.
Rose Wylie. "Japon Driving," oil on canvas, 2009.
Paul Nash. Dead Tree, Romney Marsh. From the series ‘A Private World,’ 1931-1946.
A ceramic piece by Lucie Rie.