A major exhibition highlighting the history and relevance of Finnish textile and fashion company Marimekko will open at Bendigo Art Gallery this month.

Established during the golden age of post-war Modernism, Marimekko achieved international fame in the 1960s and 1970s with its bold screen prints and pop art-style graphics.

Marimekko made its first outing with a small fashion show in a Helsinki restaurant in 1951, but achieved widespread popularity in the 1960s, bolstered by Jacqueline Kennedy who wore several Marimekko dresses during the 1960 United States presidential campaign.

Coinciding with the women’s liberation movement, Marimekko, or ‘Mary dress’ as the name literally translates, represented a pure concept, free from rules and constraints.   

This exhibition traces the brand’s meteoric rise from the 1950s to the present, and explores the dualities that define its aesthetic. 

The exhibition will be an Australian exclusive and will feature more than 60 outfits, swathes of original fabrics, homewares, sketches, and other archival materials.

“Marimekko’s graphic Unikko poppy and flower designs are instantly recognisable across generations, but they also capture the optimism and spirit of the 1960s era,” said Bendigo Art Director Karen Quinlan. 

“We are delighted to bring this exhibition to Australia.”

For more information and to buy tickets visit: www.bendigoartgallery.com.au.

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