Friday, April 16, 2010

NZ Art Fabulosity


New Zealand art. I majored in Art History (& English Lit) at Uni, so in 1996 after cutting my teeth as a Curatorial Assistant at the Southland Museum & Art Gallery, I packed my bags and moved from one end of the country to the other to try and get a job at mecca - The Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki. Luckily I managed to get a job on the front desk, then as a Gallery Assistant at both the AAG & the brand new NEW Gallery annex.

I got to join the NEW Gallery crew during the amzing exhibition by Andrew Bogle, 'Transformers' which threw me in at the deep end of installation art. There were some pretty, 'punter-friendly' in the exhibition, such as Len Lye’s elegant kinetic sculpture 'Grass', and Nike Savvas'es amazing room of ping pong balls, strung across the exhibition space with a fan causing them to vibrate. Quite spectacular!

Len Lye, Grass

Australian artist Nike Savvas, Atomix

There were also some crazy oddities that confused, perplexed, and sometimes angered exhibition visitors. I'm still rather disturbed by Paul McCarthy, the video/installation & performance artist who had punters dress up in Pinocchio outfits complete with clown shoes & masks (which we had to metho after each use!) - a slippery slope between the absurd and the disturbing. Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis was in town & checked out that particular installation. Twice! Including McCarthy was a move, but thank God Bogle chose one of his tamer works. many of his works are extremely disturbing - I will leave you to do your own reaserach, here! Enter at your own risk...

Christian Marclay’s 'Tapefall' consisted of a film projector suspended on a plank continuously spooling tape down onto the conservatory roof? Hmmm. (Guess who got to clean that up after 3 months? Me sliding about amongst a huge mountain of dust-encrusted tape on the gallery skylight was a rather interesting sight.)

Inside those walls I had many many hours to absorb the amazing artworks, learning from the Curators and Preparators, and visiting all the galleries in the Lorne St & Kitchener St area. I also worked part time at The Gregory Flint Gallery on Lorne St in 1996, when Bill Hammonds went for around $3-5K! Beautiful.

Here are a few of my favorite NZ artists' works from the Webb's catalogue. Topping my current wish list is the incomparable Bill Hammond...

A Lullaby of Birdland

Boulder Bay

Threshing Dog - The Golden Bough, Bill Hammond

Another longtime favourite is Nuiean artist John Pule.

Maholo. John Pule

Pulenoa, John Pule

Petit Nocturne, Luise Fong

Trans-magenta pulse, Luise Fong

Chandelier, Tony Lane

Four Circles Blue - Milan Mrkusich

Untitled, Seraphine Pick

Hinenuitepo, Reuben Paterson

What is the source of our first suffering? Reuben Paterson

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