Style :: Fashion

First International Gaultier Exhibition Walks the Runway at Dallas Museum of Art

Friday Oct 21, 2011
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Dallas, TX - From November 13, 2011 to February 12, 2012, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) will host "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk," the first exhibition ever devoted to the celebrated French couturier. The DMA is the first of two U.S. venues to host this critically-acclaimed international exhibition conceived, produced, and organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition also marks the first time that the DMA will present an exhibition dedicated to exploring the art of contemporary fashion.

Dubbed fashion’s "enfant terrible" from the time of his first runway shows in the 1970s, Jean Paul Gaultier is indisputably one of the most important fashion designers of recent decades. Very early on, his avant‐garde fashions reflected an understanding of a multicultural society’s issues and preoccupations, shaking up-with invariable good humor-established societal and aesthetic codes. More of a contemporary installation than a retrospective, this major exhibition-which the couturier considers to be his biggest show ever-features approximately 130 ensembles for women and men spanning over 35 years from the designer’s couture and ready-to-wear collections, along with their accessories, and numerous archival documents.

According to Olivier Meslay, the DMA’s Interim Director as well as its Senior Curator of European and American Art and The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art, "Jean Paul Gaultier’s couture fashions are bold and unapologetic, and intuitively reflect the cultural moods of a global society. His designs inspire, influence, and bring the very essence of imagination to life.
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The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier marks the first time the DMA will present an exhibition that explores the art of fashion and we are thrilled to be the first U.S. institution to exhibit the work of one of the most influential designers of our time."

"I wanted to create an exhibition on Jean Paul Gaultier more than any other couturier because of his great humanity," explained Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). "Beyond the technical virtuosity, an unbridled imagination, and ground-breaking artistic collaborations, Gaultier offers an open-minded vision of society, a crazy, sensitive, and sassy world in which everyone can assert his or her own identity through a unique ’fusion couture. ’" The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier is curated by the MMFA’s Thierry-Maxime Loriot.

Keenly interested in all the world’s cultures and countercultures, Gaultier proclaims the right to be different by conceiving a new kind of fashion in both the way it is made and worn. Through twists, transformations, transgressions, and reinterpretations of established fashion codes, he erases the boundaries between both cultures and sexes.

According to Kevin W. Tucker, The Margot B. Perot Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Dallas Museum of Art and the coordinating curator of the Dallas presentation, "Jean Paul Gaultier’s unflinchingly bold designs resonate with his affection for cultural variety and vitality. He has effectively combined couture, art, and popular culture into his own distinctive aesthetic, which is at once personal and yet reflective of the world around us."

A celebration of Gaultier’s daring inventiveness and humanist vision, this exhibition pays tribute to his cutting‐edge fashion and explores the audaciously eclectic sources of his ideas. This multimedia installation is organized along six different thematic sections tracing the influences, from the streets of Paris to the world of science fiction, that have marked the couturier’s creative development: "The Odyssey of Jean Paul Gaultier," "The Boudoir," "Skin Deep," "Punk Cancan," "Urban Jungle," and "Metropolis." Sketches, stage costumes, along with excerpts from films, runway shows, concerts, videos, dance performances, and television programs on view further explore how his avant-garde fashions challenged societal and aesthetic codes in unexpected ways.

The many legendary artistic collaborations that have characterized Gaultier’s global vision are examined within the realm of popular music, in France (Yvette Horner and Mylène Farmer) and on the international scene (Madonna - who has graciously lent two, iconic, corsets from her 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour, and a costume from her 2006 Confessions Tour - and Kylie Minogue); film (Pedro Almodóvar, Peter Greenaway, Luc Besson, Marc Caro and Jean‐Pierre Jeunet); and contemporary dance (Angelin Preljocaj, Régine Chopinot and Maurice Béjart).

Fashion photography is also a major focus of attention, thanks to loans of never‐before‐seen prints from contemporary photographers and renowned contemporary artists including Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Erwin Wurm, David LaChapelle, Richard Avedon, Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, Pierre et Gilles, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Paolo Roversi, and Robert Doisneau.

Very early on, his avant‐garde fashions reflected an understanding of a multicultural society’s issues and preoccupations, shaking up-with invariable good humor-established societal and aesthetic codes.

Placed throughout the galleries, 30 animated, talking mannequins, including one of Gaultier, add an extra dimension to the lively atmosphere by surprising visitors with the lifelike presence and spontaneous commentary. The design and staging of this innovative audio-visual creation has been produced by Montreal-based Denis Marleau and Stéphanie Jasmin of UBU/Compagnie de création.

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Maison Jean Paul Gaultier. Under the leadership of Nathalie Bondil, Director, and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the exhibition is curated by the MMFA’s Thierry-Maxime Loriot. JoliCoeur International is the official supplier of mannequins for the exhibition.

The coordinating curator of the Dallas presentation is Kevin W. Tucker, The Margot B. Perot Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Dallas Museum of Art. The exhibition in Dallas is presented by Cadillac. Additional support is provided by the DMA’s Junior Associates Circle with funds raised through An Affair of the Art 2011: Maison de la Mode: House of Fashion; NorthPark Center; Forty Five Ten; and BBVA Compass. Air transportation in Dallas is provided by American Airlines. Promotional support provided by Catwalk by TIGI.

Under the leadership of Nathalie Bondil, Director, and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is curated by the MMFA’s Thierry-Maxime Loriot. The coordinating curator of the Dallas presentation is Kevin W. Tucker, The Margot B. Perot Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Dallas Museum of Art.

The presentation in Dallas is presented by Cadillac. Additional support is provided by the DMA’s Junior Associates Circle with funds raised through An Affair of the Art 2011: Maison de la Mode: House of Fashion; NorthPark Center; and Forty Five Ten. Air transportation in Dallas is provided by American Airlines. JoliCoeur International is the official supplier of mannequins for the exhibition.
Following Dallas, the exhibition tour will include:

• Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (March 24-August 19, 2012)
• Fundación Mapfre - Instituto de Cultura, Madrid (September 26-November 18, 2012)
• Kunsthal Rotterdam, the Netherlands (February 9-May 12, 2013)

Museum of Fine Arts has published a major monograph edited by Thierry-Maxime Loriot, the first on Gaultier, in collaboration with Abrams for the English edition and Éditions de La Martinière for the French edition. Featuring over 550 illustrations and photographs, the 424-page catalogue includes over 50 exclusive interviews with Gaultier’s colleagues, mentors, and muses, as well as the artists he has worked with-among them Pedro Almodóvar,
Catherine Deneuve, Helen Mirren, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Madonna, Martin Margiela, Pierre Cardin, and Dita Von Teese-and features many previously unpublished illustrations thanks to the collaboration of renowned fashion photographers and the Maison Jean Paul Gaultier.

The catalogue also features an essay written by Suzy Menkes, Fashion Editor at the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune; an interview with Valerie Steele, fashion historian and Director of New York’s The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), as well as a timeline of Gaultier’s career.

Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 24,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures.

Established in 1903, the Museum welcomes approximately 600,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary readings, and dramatic and dance presentations. The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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