Flaunt: to display (possessions, oneself, etc) ostentatiously; to show off; to wave or cause to wave freely; to flutter...
Societies, and the positions individuals hold within them, are visibly demarcated through dress, whether by elements of adornment, or by clothes that depict the wearer's status and function. A king without his robes and crown is a man by any other name; a woman in a tailored trouser suit refuses to be proscribed by traditional notions of femininity.
Flaunt draws on the wide range of works in Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki's collections that deal with issues related to the history of dress and identity. These works come from many different periods in art, and rather than being shown chronologically, will be displayed according to particular themes, allowing comparisons and contrasts to be made across time and place.
The exhibition explores a range of themes, and includes costumes on loan from public and private New Zealand collections and works created within the fashion industry, to illustrate fashion throughout the ages.
Crosspolynation looks at the way in which artists and designers from different periods and cultures have always borrowed from one another, a practice that continue to inform design even today.
Styling Modernity illustrates that with the rise of Modernism in the 20th century, fashion for women took on a new freedom. Women artists not only recorded the fashion of the day in their paintings but also took an active role in their production, with many of their designs being created for textile printing.
Courting Attention - This section of the exhibition shows the richness of courtly attire, clearly illustrated by the rich brocades, lace and powdered wigs of both men and women prior to more austere male costuming in the 19th century. Allan Ramsay's two 18th century portraits of King George III and his wife Queen Charlotte demonstrate their position and their power through the lavish fabrics and accessories with which they are draped.
Masking Desire - Fashion is a marker of desire, the draped body frequently appearing more erotic than when naked. Masking Desire looks at the subtle messages that lie within ostensibly formal portraits, and considers the way different parts of the body become the focus of attention in different periods.
Rites of Passage explores the way in which ceremonies that mark birth, death and marriage are signified through costume.
In Inside Out costume moves from the highly figurative to the deconstructed work of Julia Fong and Pip Culbert, whose shirt consists only of seams. More traditional photography includes Brian Brake's photograph of Picasso autographing a woman's dress, thereby turning the garment into a work of art.
- Curated by
- Mary Kisler
- Main Gallery, Upper Level
- Adult: $7, Concession: $5, Children Under 12: Free, Friends of the Gallery: $4, Free entry on Mondays