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Frist Art Museum to open Alexander McQueen exhibition

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Ann Ray. Art and Craft, 2000. Archival gelatin silver print; 70 7/8 x 47 1/4 in. Credits: Barrett Barrera Projects

The Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, will open an exhibition exploring the creative partnership between the late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen and his trusted friend, French photographer Ann Ray.

Organised by Barrett Barrera Projects, ‘Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray: Rendez-Vous’ exhibition will run from May 30 to August 25 and promises to offer an “intimate glimpse into the life and mind of McQueen, through a selection of photographs taken over the course of 13 years by Ann Ray”.

Unlike other McQueen exhibitions, this will give a unique perspective on the designer’s collections, as Ray had exclusive and unfettered access to McQueen’s world and captured “everything from contemplative moments in the design studio to the organised chaos backstage at runway shows”.

In total, Ray shot 43 collections, and the exhibition will showcase 65 photographs hand-selected by the photographer from her archive of over 32,000 negatives.

Lee Alexander McQueen’s relationship with Ann Ray to explore in new exhibition

Alongside the photographs, the exhibition will feature 60 dress objects, including ready-to-wear, one-off samples, and examples of haute couture that span the arc of McQueen's career. Among these are 10 garments gifted to Ray by McQueen, along with 13 exclusive pieces sourced from Barrett Barrera Projects in St. Louis, Missouri, the world's largest private collection of McQueen's works.

‘Lee Alexander McQueen & Ann Ray: Rendez-Vous’ will be organised into five sections of McQueen's garments paired alongside 12 thematic sections of photography selected and organised by Ray.

Themes include charting McQueen’s tenure at Givenchy, where he was appointed creative director at the age of 27, as well as his iconic collections, catwalk shows and final years.

Katie Delmez, senior curator at the Frist Art Museum, said in a statement: “While there have been other exhibitions of McQueen's work, including the attendance record-breaking Savage Beauty project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2011, one year after his death, the unprecedented inclusion of Ray's photographs creates a rendez-vous in which new and perhaps more truthful narratives emerge.”

Alexander McQueen
Ann Ray
Barrett Barrera Projects
Frist Art Museum
lee Alexander mcqueen