Monday, September 15, 2014

Coming up at Starkwhite

On Friday 19 September we open a new exhibition by Australian artist Rebecca Baumann. It is her first solo show at Starkwhite and follows her participation in Art Basel Hong Kong in May, where we presented a commissioned work in the Encounters section curated by Yuko Hasegawa.
Image: Studio shot (detail) of work under development for Rebcecca Baumann's solo show

Friday, September 12, 2014

New Zealand representation in biennales

New Zealand has featured in previous editions of the Sao Paulo Bienal - Joe Sheehan in the 28th, Andrew McLeod and Brendan Wilkinson in the 27th, Remember New Zealand curated by Tobias Berger for the 26th, Gavin Hipkins in the 25th and Peter Robinson in the 23rd. But New Zealand artists were not included in the 29th edition and they haven't made the cut again this year with the 30th edition. Nor are there any New Zealand artists in the Gwangju Biennale or in the upcoming Shanghai Biennale.

Over the past two decades a handful of New Zealand curators were instrumental in brokering our artists into these events before moving overseas to take up curatorial positions. Two of them have returned to New Zealand - Robert Leonard (now chief curator at the City Gallery Wellington) and Simon Rees (the new director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery) - and look set to ramp up biennale representation for our artists again.
Image: Pavilhao Ciccillo Matarazzo, venue for the Sao Paulo Bienal

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Jeff Koons works with handbags for charity

Jeff Koons will create the first in a series of new works that will be used to raise money for the United Nations Foundation. He will create a large sculpture (and several smaller pieces) made of materials from luxury handbags donated for the project by Sofia Coppola, Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstanberg, Almine Ruiz-Picasson and others. The finished piece will be auctioned at a dinner at Four Seasons restaurant in New York on on 9 November with the proceeds going to the United Nations Foundation's shot@life campaign, which is raising money to fight  measles, pneumonia, polio and rotavirus in children.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Okwui Enwezor's global curatorial project

Okwui Enwezor is the first curator of his generation to direct Documenta and the Venice Biennale and the first African curator to direct either one. In an article titled How Okwui Enwezor Changed the Art World, the Wall Street Journal tracks Enwezor's global curatorial project, beginning with his 1996 breakthrough show Insight: African Photographers 1940 to Present at the Guggenhein Museum. Since then he has produced international exhibitions that seek to define their moment - biennials in Johannesburg, Gwangju and the Paris Triennial - and historically-driven, encyclopedic museum shows. Read more...
Image: Okwui Enwezor

Monday, September 8, 2014

Israel's Gaza offensive draws flak at Sao Paulo Bienal

Like the recent Biennale of Sydney, this year's edition of the Sao Paulo Bienal has opened with artists calling for the organising foundation to sever links with a sponsor - this time from the state of Israel. Fifty-five of the 68 participating artists have signed a letter protesting Israel's Gaza offensive and calling on the bienal to return funds received from Israel.

"At a time when the people of Gaza return to the rubble of their homes, destroyed by the Israeli military, we do not feel it is acceptable to receive Israeli cultural sponsorship," the letter reads. "In accepting this funding our artistic work displayed in the exhibition is undermined and implicitly used for whitewashing Israel's ongoing aggression and violation of international law and human rights. We reject Israel's attempt to normalise itself within the context of a major international cultural event in  Brazil." Read more...
Image: Pro-Palestine protesters in Sao Paulo (2009)

This week at Starkwhite

SIGNALS continues at Starkwhite closing on Saturday 13 September.
Image: Jin Jiangbo, Silent (2011), pigment ink on photo rag, 110cm diameter

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Jerry Salz drills down into September issue of Artforum

Every September Jerry Saltz conducts a "semi-sick ritual", returning to the September issue of Artforum to see what the new season of shows and openings holds "for the faithful, the frightened, and the shy." This link takes you to an article on what he found this time.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev's plans for the Istanbul Biennale

ARTINFO caught  up with Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev in Sydney and talked about her plans for the next Istanbul Biennale.

Having seen every edition of the biennale since its inception in 1987, she finds the history of the event particularly meaningful. "I think it was the beginning of a decentralisation of the art world from the canonical, traditional venues like the Venice Biennale to another system that we now have where there are 150 biennales around the world," she says. "The geopolitics of art really changed with Istanbul, and that's why I decided it was important."  Read more...
Image: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

Jessica Morgan talks about her Gwangju Biennale

Burning Down the House, the 10th edition of the Gwangju Biennale opens today and runs to 9 November. Curated by Jessica Morgan, the exhibition places a special focus on politically motivated and insurgent art , as well as works that address local history. ARTINFO's Wendy Vogel spoke to her about what makes this year's biennale particularly explosive. Read more...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

SIGNALS continues at Starkwhite

Our current exhibition SIGNALS has been extended by a week and will now close on Saturday 13 September. You can read an exhibition review here.
Image: SIGNALS, installation view (Billy Apple's THE ARTIST WILL LIVE FOREVER (Chinese) and FROM THE LAI SOO COLLECTION. and Jin Jiangbo's Hidden

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Biography on art dealer Peter McLeavey wins book of the year award

Jill Trevelyan's biography of legendary art dealer Peter McLeavey, the charismatic, pioneering art dealer who since the 1960s has shaped New Zealand art, has won the 2014 New Zealand Post Book of the Year Award. The finalists for this year's award included Eleanor Catton's Booker Prize winning novel The LuminariesRead more...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Biennale of Sydney announces artistic director for 2016

Stephanie Rosenthal has been named as the artistic director of the 2016 Biennale of Sydney. Currently based in London, Rosenthal has been Chief Curator at the Hayward Gallery since 2007, having previously worked at the Haus der Kunst in Munich as Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art. She was also one of three curators who realised a national section of the first biennial in Cartenga, Columbia earlier this year.
Image: Stephanie Rosenthal

Monday, August 4, 2014

Coming up at Starkwhite

SIGNALS responds to the changing face of Auckland, a multi-cultural city with a rapidly changing demographic, where the mix of European, Maori and Pacific Island cultures is being enriched by new New Zealanders, notably from Asia.

The exhibition brings together artworks by Asian artists who show with Starkwhite, along with others whose work engages with traditional and contemporary art practice in Asia – work that speaks to Auckland’s Asian communities who form a growing audience for contemporary art, with the potential to expand the domestic art market.

Artists in the exhibition include: Billy Apple (NZ/US), Stella Brennan (NZ) Trenton Garratt (NZ), Jin Jiangbo (CN), Seung Yul Oh (NZ/KR), John Reynolds (NZ), Layla Rudneva-Mackay (NZ) and Yuk King Tan (HK) and Wang Dawei (CN).

SIGNALS runs from 9 August to 6 September.
Image: Billy Apple, THE ARTIST WILL LIVE FOREVER (Chinese) 2013, uv impregnated ink on canvas, 618 x 1000mm

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

An art auction based on emotion

A swedish glass gallery, Kosta Boda, has come up with a novel way to auction an artwork. Instead of the usual monetary bids, bidders could only win an artwork with the intensity of their emotional and physical reactions to the piece. Coined the "auction based on emotions", no money changed hands for three pieces valued at over 25,000 in total.

On the night of the auction, each bidder was brought into a closed off room and sensors were hooked onto their hand and ear. At this point, the artwork was unveiled and the sensors began monitoring the bidders heart rate and galvanic skin response. Each bidder had 60 seconds to experience the work and after going through the process for the 303 participants, the three with the highest physical response were awarded the artworks.
Image: a bidder at the Kosta Boda auction

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Who Cares? 16 Essays on Curating in Asia

Hong Kong's ParaSite Art Space curator Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya sees Asia as being like "a curatorial Wild West" where the continent's multi-role curatorial practices deconstruct all his European preconceptions. Influenced by the lack of publications that focus on curatorial practices in Asia, Fominaya and artist Michael Lee compiled a selelction of 16 essays that address this issue, inviting contribitions from curators and critics, including Hans Ulricht Obrist, Russsell Storer, Cao Weijun, Hector Rodriguez and others. Read more...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Final week for Grant Stevens' Hold Together, Fall Apart

Grant Stevens' exhibition Hold Together, Fall Apart enters its final week at Starkwhite, closing on Saturday 2 August. You can read a review of the exhibition here.  You can also catch Stevens' work at the City Gallery Wellington. What We Had Was Real runs to 7 September.
Image: Grant Stevens, Haven (2104), video still

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Utopian Slumps founder teams up with Anna Schwartz

Utopian Slums Founder Melissa Loughnan has joined the Anna Schwartz Gallery and the pair have a lot in common: Schwartz has a 32 year history of running her gallery which began in Melbourne and expanded to the Carriageworks site in Sydney, and at the age of 32 Loughnan has spent eight years running Utopian Slumps, during which time she transformed it from a small not-for-profit space into a commercial gallery.

Schwartz is delighted on have Loughnan on board: "For me, the opportunity to keep the vibrancy of the gallery through the engagement with somebody who is of this younger culture is what I always dreamed of, what I hoped the gallery would be going into the future, rather than a piece of historical apparatus." Read more...
Image Anna Schwartz and Melissa Loughnan 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Magnus Renfrew moves on from Art Basel Hong Kong

Magnus Renfrew is stepping down from his position as Art Basel Asia Director with oversight of Art Basel Hong Kong, to take on the role of Deputy Chairman, Asia and Director of Fine Arts, Asia for Bonhams. Renfrew was the founding director of ART HK in 2008 and oversaw its development and acquisition by MCH Group (the parent company of Art Basel) in 2011. His continued involvement in Art Basel Hong Kong was a sign that the fair would continue to have a strong Asia/Pacific focus under its new management. From the outset, he has been an advocate for the Pacific region and he will be missed by the New Zealand and Australian galleries that have worked with him over the past seven years.
Image: Magnus Renfrew

Monday, July 21, 2014

New Zealand International FIlm Festival premiers Gavin Hipkins' first feature-length film

In his first feature-length film, photographer Gavin Hipkins presents a richly pictorial essay of images of the natural world - and the often forlorn evidence of humanity's passage through it. Hipkins draws his themes for Erewhon from Samuel Butler's Erewhon: Or, Over the Range, published in 1872. Butler had worked on a South Island high country sheep station and it's easy to suppose that his objectification of a wholly invented 'native people' is an ironic posture owing something to his experience in colonial New Zealand. Likewise his concerns with the coming dominance of industry chime eerily with contemporary concerns: vegetarianism is the law of the land in Erewhon and machines have been banished to museums for fear of their becoming conscious.

Erewhon  was premiered on Sunday at the New Zealand International Film Festival and screens again today at 1.30pm at Auckland's Academy Theatre. You can view the film trailer here.
Image: Gavin Hipkins Erewhon (Production Still)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Barry Keldoulis talks about the Melbourne Art Fair

Barry Keldoulis, the CEO and Group Fairs Director of Art Fairs Australia, the presenters of Sydney Contemporary and the Melbourne Art Fair (on behalf of the Melbourne Art Foundation), will talk about the upcoming Melbourne Art Fair at Starkwhite at 5pm today. He will cover public and collector programmes, and the three new exhibition sections that have been introduced to this year’s edition of the Melbourne Art Fair - MAF Platform, MAF  Video, and MAF Edge. Curated by Simone Hine and Kyle Weise, the co-founding directors of Screen Space, MAF Video includes Grant Stevens’ Auric Variations.
Image: Barry Keldoulis