The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color
Museum at FIT, New York
– 5 January 2019
This exhibition places the colour pink and its manifold and controversial connotations within a global context, with around 80 pink items of clothing, accessories, toys, and costumes from all over the world on display, dating from 1800 to the present day.
There are myriad layers of interpretation when it comes to such a striking, loaded colour as pink. Time and time again, it has sparked fierce discussion, excited both enthusiasm and aversion, and proven provocative in a social context. From a Western perspective, it has long been associated with the female sex. However, garments from other cultures, such as India, Africa, Mexico, and Japan, run counter to this phenomenon. By taking a comprehensive, global look at the colour pink, the exhibition clears away any sense of prejudice and encourages visitors to question tired clichés and stagnant definitions. Ultimately, the colour is redolent not only of gender issues, but also has associations with revolution, eroticism, and protest. While the part of the exhibition located in the foyer concentrates on clothing and is organised chronologically, the main gallery is ordered by theme in order to draw out key points in the historical development and interpretation of the colour. Among other things, it sheds light on the role of pink in 18th-century interior design and how it is used today in fashion design. A symposium will also take place on 19 October 2018 with selected speakers who have been involved in some way in the exhibition or with the book “Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color”, which is being published by Thames and Hudson to coincide with the exhibition.