The T List: Five Things We Recommend This Week


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Jonathan Anderson’s deep love of craft is newly evident with each passing fashion season — Loewe, the Spanish fashion house where he is creative director, regularly collaborates with weavers, embroiderers and leather workers. With the brand’s latest capsule collection, though, Anderson celebrates a different sort of art form: animation. Concocted in collaboration with Studio Ghibli (the Tokyo-based outfit founded in 1985 by the directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata with the producer Toshio Suzuki) and dedicated to one of its most beloved films, in which a pair of sisters in postwar Japan commune with fantastical creatures in the woods near their house, Loewe x “My Neighbor Totoro” is a 66-piece offering that includes bags and other accessories, sweats, shoes, T-shirts and one buttery leather biker jacket, many of them rendered in cartoon-bright hues and embellished with figures and lush imagery from the 1988 movie. Forest scenes cover totes and tops, and Totoro himself appears on a number of items, including the popular Puzzle and Hammock handbag styles. There are various reminders that this is a marriage of skill sets — some of the flourishes were hand-painted, while others were realized via a leather intarsia or tapestry technique — but the overall effect is one of whimsy. For Anderson, who remembers watching “My Neighbor Totoro” on VHS with his parents, the collection as a whole, which is launching Jan. 8, is also a reminder, ever apt in our modern world, of the importance of nature and adventure.


As the poet Bill Berkson once wrote, Martha Diamond, who is known for her indelible New York cityscapes rendered in thick, gestural brush strokes and bold, contrasting colors, “builds edifices that bring citified chaos into focus as character, condensing the rush and stabilizing it as an emblem.” Next week sees the opening of a new show, at Magenta Plains gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, that explores the depths of Diamond’s affinity for these structures. Culled from pieces completed in the ’80s, a pivotal decade for the artist that culminated in her work appearing in the 1989 Whitney Biennial, the six large-scale oil paintings to go on view share a palette of muted grays, midnight blues, glowing yellows and burnt scarlets — shades encountered on a lonely stroll at night, or thanks to a peek through the blinds after dark. (A number of preparatory studies on Masonite will also be on display.) Having lived and worked on the Bowery since 1969, Diamond indeed draws on scenes from her own walks through the city, depicting grids of buttery windows (as in “Moonlight/City View #2,” 1981) or stacks of green fence screens on identical balconies (“Untitled 11,” 1987). She also paints with her nondominant hand, which gives her canvases their intimate, figurative quality. They brood, slump and occasionally menace, and yet they’re also solitary and anonymous — in other words, the works themselves are true city dwellers. More than a particular place, says Olivia Smith, the gallery’s director, they “represent a memory of something that we all recognize.” For this New Yorker, whose city has felt all but unrecognizable these past 10 months, it’s a welcomed remembrance. “Martha Diamond: 1980-1989” is on view from Jan. 13 through Feb. 17 at Magenta Plains, 94 Allen Street, New York City, magentaplains.com.




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