High fashion, samurais and Warhol fill Atlanta galleries this fall

If the visual arts tell us anything this fall, it is that fashion looms large and artistic collaboration is key.

High-fashion hook-up to iconoclasts like Lady Gaga and Bjork, Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen headlines the High Museum in November with “Transforming Fashion” dedicated to her otherworldly, future-shock designs. “The New York Times” has likened van Herpen’s clothing to “15th century samurai armor,” a fitting segue to “Samurai: The Way of the Warrior” at Athens’ Georgia Museum of Art in October. will spotlight the dandy excesses of those legendary Japanese warriors with an exhibition featuring their lacquered armor plates festooned with silk ribbons and elaborate helmets decorated with Shinto spirits and demons.

This fall there is greater proof that artists’ voices are making inroads into local art institutions, not just with their work hung on walls, but with their voices present in guest-curated exhibitions. Kennesaw’s Zuckerman Museum is launching several exhibitions curated by local artists including Fahamu Pecou, whose show “Rites” looks at black masculinity. In addition, Pecou will create a series of four murals at MARTA stations around the city, an initiative co-organized by the indie art group WonderRoot, MARTA and the TransFormation Alliance.

“Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion.” Avant-garde Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen will be featured in a first-ever exhibition stateside this fall, with a showcase of some of the sci-fi glam clothing that has made van Herpen a runway star. Van Herpen often looks to the realms of military and private sector technology for her cutting-edge fabrics. The designer has used 3-D printing and laboratory-created leather made from cow cells to create clothes that can resemble a beautiful collision of armor, exoskeleton, origami and cocoon. “Transforming Fashion” also marks the first time the High has featured a show dedicated entirely to fashion in this one fall show you won’t want to miss. Nov. 7-May 15, 2016, High Museum of Art. www.high.org

“Samurai: The Way of the Warrior.” A great excuse to travel to Athens for the day, this comprehensive exhibition of samurai gear draws from the collection of the Stibbert Museum in Florence, Italy. “Samurai” will offer a peek into a fascinating period in Japanese history from the 12th century to the 19th century before the country opened up to the West, when the disciplined, honor-bound samurai were charged with protecting wealthy landowners. The show includes 100 objects related to the period of the ruling military class in Japan including helmets, armor, saddles and swords as well as everyday objects for warrior down-time like folding chairs, incense trays and writing boxes. Oct. 24,-Jan. 3, 2016, Georgia Museum of Art. www.georgiamuseum.org

“Works by Warhol: From the Cochran Collection.” Drawn from the collection of Wes and Missy Cochran of LaGrange, this show will feature 36 silkscreen prints from 1974-1986 featuring iconic figures from Superman to JFK. In keeping with the artist’s pop culture-meets-Americana themes, the show will also feature a complete set of prints from Andy Warhol’s lesser-known “Cowboys and Indians” series. Hudgens Center for the Arts, Oct. 10-Dec. 19. www.thehudgens.org

“Rites.” Curated by local artist sensation Fahamu Pecou coming off of successful, well-received exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia and the High Museum, “Rites” examines what it is to be a black man through the work of the four participating artists Jon Goode, Robert Hodge, Alexis Peskine and Cosmo Whyte. Aug. 22-Dec. 6, Zuckerman Museum of Art. http://zuckerman.kennesaw.edu

“El Gallo: Ann-Marie Manker.” This always imaginative Atlanta-based artist has a thing for confectionary colors, glitter, rainbows, sexy themes and explorations of gender. For her third solo show at Inman Park’s Whitespace Gallery, Manker turns attention previously lavished on female figures to the male of the species in “El Gallo.” Imagining what she calls “bromance rituals” of manly grooming and mutual adoration, “El Gallo” also contains some startlingly odd and fascinating man-rooster hybrids in a show featuring drawing, painting, video and sculpture. Sept. 18-Oct. 17, Whitespace Gallery. www.whitespace814.com

“Nancy Van Devender: The Left Coast.” Atlanta artist Van Devender examines that dreamy chimera of California and its current incarnation as a modern dust bowl plagued by drought and desolation, alongside its equivalent status as a luxury-oriented, self-indulgent spa-mecca. Featuring video and photographs, this solo show at the Westside’s Poem 88, “invites the viewer to consider pleasure and its absence, the oasis and the parched landscape, another state and another state of mind.” Nov. 14-Dec. 19, Poem 88. www.poem88.net

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