Leslie Wilcox (20th century)
Boston, Massachusetts
Stainless steel screen
80 x 33 x 23 in.
On loan from the artist

Leslie Wilcox was inspired to create Kimono for the Art Complex Museum to celebrate its collection of Asian art, especially its Japanese ceramics and the Wind in the Pines tea house.

She used metal screening—her signature material—used to cover windows and doors in the summer, to create the quasi-figurative works. Her “empty” dress sculptures and in this case, a kimono, are installed around tree trunks to suggest a person who might wear the garment. Her work captures a hybrid, part human, part nature presence integrating the spirit of the trees into her sculpture.

Although these fashions look delicate and ephemeral, the durable stainless-steel mesh is far from fragile. The artist wraps and drapes the metal garments around the trunks, and staples seams into place.