The Pleasure Principle

Collecting and Collectors

13 October 2012 - 22 September 2013

Institutions such as the Dunedin Public Art Gallery rely on the generosity of their communities, patrons and donors for the existence, growth, and care of their collections. Since its establishment in 1884, this Gallery has been fortunate to have benefitted from the sustained and shared vision of individuals and organisations who have remained firm in their beliefs about the educative and enriching role that art can play within a City, benefitting both its citizens and global visitors.

The Pleasure Principle presents some favourite works from the Gallery’s collection, combining them with a handful of recent and significant new additions, and utilising objects from across a range of collection genres. Like living beings, collections of this sort are not static, but growing, and the works within them speak to one another. Stretching across a number of rooms, this exhibition sets out to explore an approach that, with an aesthetic and sensualist intelligence, provides a sense of grandeur and joie de vivre. It is unashamedly a celebration of beautiful objects, decorative wonders and fabulous spectacle, using works assembled by collectors and enabled by benefactors, whose taste and generosity has transformed this Gallery’s collection over the last 128 years.

Within these uncertain times, art remains constant in its ability to move us. That it also remains accessible to all, and able to be experienced and enjoyed by those who choose to visit the Gallery are fundamental and enduring principles, not only of this institution, but of art itself.       

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