Fashioning contemporary art: a new interdisciplinary aesthetics in art-design collaborations

Nicola McCartney*, Jane Tynan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A surge in creative collaboration between fine artists and fashion designers might be troubling the art world, but these mergers have prompted little debate within academic research in the visual arts. Various artists now work directly with fashion designers, and though often derided by the art press, the growth of inter-disciplinary collaboration reflects a shift in how art is perceived, especially in relation to popular culture. This discussion considers historical moments when fashion and art found common cause, but we view the distinctive qualities of recent collaborative ventures as an entrenchment of postmodernist aesthetics in both realms. Since the mid-twentieth century, art-fashion interplays have disorganised disciplinary boundaries, but they also illustrate the unsettling effects of neoliberalism on cultural production. By exploring the fashioning of contemporary art through the work of various artists and designers, including Matthew Barney, Vanessa Beecroft and Yayoi Kusama, we ask whether shared concerns in art and design around power, spectacle and the somatic might signal the emergence of a new interdisciplinary aesthetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-162
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Visual Art Practice
Issue number1-2
Early online date25 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • authorship
  • collaboration
  • neoliberalism
  • Postmodernism
  • the body


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