A jumper, pullover, sweatshirt, jersey, or guernsey. Juniors is a study of the sweater. These are casual sweaters – their size is disarming. Hung on the wall they take on a sculptural quality. Ornamented with candy canes, whales, elks, rabbits and elephants, they resemble children’s or holiday sweaters, although these sweaters are shrunken, acting as a smaller representation of the real. With names such as Harry, Tony, Benny and Eddie, the sweaters obtain personalities. Informed by an interest in fashion history and American textiles, these mini ski sweaters celebrate the style of the New England preppy, with a nod to Scandinavian knitting design and Memphis Group textiles. These mix and match sources make the sweaters come alive in a playful exploration of the high and low of fashion and art, situating them somewhere in-between painting, drawing, textiles and sculpture. Blue, white, red, pink and black, knitted and chunky, the works in Juniors are visualized textures, cute if you like.
‘Cute is a good example of how a shortened form of a word can take on a life of its own, developing a sense that dissociates it from the longer word from which it was derived. Cute was originally a shortened form of acute in the sense “keenly perceptive or discerning, shrewd.” In this sense cute is first recorded in a dictionary published in 1731. Probably cute came to be used as a term of approbation for things demonstrating acuteness, and so it went on to develop its own sense of “pretty, fetching,” first recorded with reference to “gals” in 1838.’
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Josh Blackwell born 1972 lives and works in New York.
Selected current exhibitions include: Josh Blackwell- Paper and Plastic, John Tevis Gallery, Paris, until 13 February 2010 and Rock Garden, Salon 94 Freemans, New York, until 16 January 2010. In 2009 Blackwell had a solo shows at Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York and took part in two group shows at Art since the summer of ’69, also in New York. In 2008 they showed in Here’s Why Patterns, Misako & Rosen, Tokyo. In 2007 they were selected by Matthew Higgs and Marc Camille Chaimowicz for East International 2007, Norwich Gallery, Norwich School of Art and Design.