Currently reading : Silent Partners; Artist & Mannequin from Function to Fetish

Silent Partners; Artist & Mannequin from Function to Fetish

4 November 2014

Author : reba

Reposing, 1929, by Alan Beeton.

The strangeness of the mannequin is a theme which has a long history of fascinating artists, so it exciting to hear of the new exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge called Silent Partners which is devoted to these uncanny human impostors and their relationship to art.

The exhibition will examine the various strange ways the mannequin has appeared in art history all the way from the Renaissance to present day.

For centuries the mannequin was no more than a studio tool for the artist, a piece of necessary equipment, however this exhibition will reveal its varied purposes, from fixing perspective and painting reflections, to being a support for drapery and costume – and shows how it gradually moved centre stage to become the subject of the painting, photograph or film, eventually becoming a work of art in its own right.

One of the most wide-ranging and ambitious shows ever hosted at the Museum, the exhibition will feature over 180 paintings, drawings, books and photographs as well as fashion dolls, trade catalogues, a series of extraordinary patent documents and videos. There will be paintings and drawings by Cézanne, Poussin, Gainsborough, Millais, Ford Madox Brown, and Degas as well as photographs by and of Surrealist artists such as Man Ray, Hans Bellmer and Salvador Dali; works by Jake and Dinos Chapman show that, even today, artists continue to be drawn to the creative potential unleashed by our artificial Others.

After its showing in Cambridge, Silent Partners will travel to the Musée Bourdelle, Paris. It will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated book published by Yale University Press in association with Paris Musées.

Find out more about the exhibition and the events which will coincide with it here

Fitzwilliam Museum
14 Oct 2014 ””
25 Jan 2015

Musée Bourdelle
31 March ””
12 July 2015

Untitled 1936 by Claude Cahun 1894-1954
Untitled 1936 by Claude Cahun 1894-1954


Wax bust by Pierre Imans, 1910s–20s, Fashion Museum, Bath © Fashion Museum,
Lydia with mannequins (original crop) by Man Ray, 1932

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