An Australian first, the NGV are putting on an extensive Alexander McQueen exhibition

An Australian first, the NGV are putting on an extensive Alexander McQueen exhibition

alexander mcqueen
Lee Alexander McQueen Mind Mythos Muse Los-Angeles County Museum of Art

We speak to Katie Sommerville, Senior Curator of Fashion & Textiles at the NGV about this major exhibition.

Known for his boundary-pushing, highly conceptual designs that set him apart from his peers, an exhibition dedicated to the extraordinary fashion designer Alexander McQueen is set to arrive at the NGV this summer. Showcasing over 100 garments and accessories alongside more than 70 artworks, including painting, sculpture, photography, works on paper and decorative arts, from a multitude of eras and cultures, Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse offers unprecedented insight into McQueen’s far-reaching sources of inspiration, his creative process and his capacity for story-telling.

“The approach that we’re taking with this exhibition is that it’s not so much a classic retrospective,” says Katie Sommerville on her process of curating this exhibit. “We’re really exploring the whole nature of his creative output, in terms of both his extraordinary technical capacity – he originally trained on Saville Row as a young man – and then in a theatre costume production company before going onto establish his label.”

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“He’s one of those incredible designers who is not only conceptually quite astonishing, in terms of what he has bought in the way of legacy, but the pieces themselves are also from a tailor point of view, structurally amazing pieces of art.”

Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse takes into consideration the varied inspirations of Alexander McQueen by displaying painting, sculpture and photography alongside his fashion works. An impressive collection of over 110 designs by McQueen himself, the extensive exhibit represents a collaboration between the NGV and LACMA in the States.

“The NGV have long collected and exhibited fashion so that in itself is not a new thing, but we have actually been acquiring Alexander McQueen for over 25 years now – we acquired the first works from him from his London studio back in 1996 and now we have around 50 works that we’ll be including in the exhibition.”

“Along with the 50 works from our collection, we’ve joined forces in partnership with the LA County Museum of Art in Los Angeles – they have the most extraordinary, the most impressive, collection of McQueen in a public collection in North America. Between the two institutions, we’ve come up with a very impressive exhibition featuring over 110 works by Alexander McQueen.”

“We have items from when he started his career in the early 90s, through to 2010 – we have works from 25 of his collections in that period, it’s very extensive. The earliest work that we have from him is from 1994 and the latest work is from 2010.”

Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse will take over the NGV International between Sunday, December 11 2022 and Sunday, April 16 2023. Find out more and book tickets here.