Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper
February 18 - May 14, 2023
John W. and Mildred L. Graves Gallery
Louise and S.O. Beren Gallery
About This Exhibition
Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave creates breathtaking paper recreations of historical costumes. The life-size sculptures celebrate the artist’s love of vibrant color, textiles, and the artistic effect trompe l’oeil (French for “fools the eye”).
Originally a painter, Isabelle de Borchgrave’s fashion time-traveling dates to 1994 when she visited the Costume Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. There, an exhibition of 18th-century garments was on display. “It gave me a shock–particularly a yellow dress, which would become my first paper creation,” the artist said. Since that time, de Borchgrave has created astonishing fashion with a surprising medium–trompe l’oeil paper artworks.
From replicas of Renaissance Italian gowns to recreations of the fantastical modernist costumes of the Ballet Russes, de Borchgrave’s work is meticulously crafted and astonishingly beautiful. This exhibition explores 300 years of fashion history, featuring dresses from Queen Elizabeth I to Coco Chanel. De Borchgrave’s paper costumes have been featured in major exhibitions around the world from Venice to San Francisco—and now to Wichita.
WAM gives special thanks to Teresa Molina, assistant professor of Spanish at Friends University, for advising and for translating Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper exhibition signage and labels for each work of art for Spanish-speaking visitors.
WAM agradece especialmente a Teresa Molina, profesora de español en la Universidad de Friends, por el asesoramiento y la traducción de la señalización de la exposición Isabelle de Borchgrave: Crear arte con papel y de las etiquetas de cada obra de arte para los visitantes de habla hispana.
In the Exhibition
It gave me a shock–particularly a yellow dress, which would become my first paper creation.
About the Artist
Isabelle de Borchgrave in her studio in Brussels, Belgium.
A Belgian artist based in Brussels, de Borchgrave is a painter by training, but textile and costume are her muses. Working in collaboration with leading costume historians and young fashion designers, de Borchgrave crafts a world of splendor from the simplest rag paper. Painting and manipulating the paper, she forms trompe l’oeil masterpieces of elaborate dresses inspired by rich depictions in early European painting or by iconic costumes in museum collections around the world.
Our Generous Sponsors
This exhibition has been organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, in cooperation with Isabelle de Borchgrave Studio.
The Wichita presentation has been generously underwritten by presenting sponsor Lattner Family Foundation.
Koch Family Foundation, Sondra Langel, Sarah T. Smith, and Judy Slawson Exhibition Fund are principal sponsors.
Generous support has been provided by DeVore Foundation, Dondlinger Construction, Emprise Bank, and The Trust Company of Kansas.
Mary Eves, Toni and Bud Gates, Joey and Rich Giblin, Carol and H. Guy Glidden, Harold and Evelyn Gregg, Sonia Greteman and Chris Brunner, Delmar and Mary Klocke, Dr. Barry and Jane Murphy, Stev Overstreet, Kristin and Will Price, Debbie and Ron Sinclair, and Mary Sue Smith are additional exhibition patrons.
2023 exhibitions and public programs are generously supported by the Downing Foundation. All museum exhibitions receive generous sponsorship from the Friends of the Wichita Art Museum and the City of Wichita.