Monday, December 28, 2009

Blog time out

The gallery is closed over the Christmas period and we will resume our posts again on 1 January, albeit intermittently for the first two weeks. 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings! We decided to post this image of Tacita Dean with her Tate Christmas tree because she says (and we agree) the work holds onto something of the purity and magic of Christmas, despite commercial pressures.
Image: Tacita Dean with Weihnachtsbaum (2009), this year's Tate Britain Christmas tree

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jury out on Copenhagen summit

The jury is out on whether the Copenhagen summit was a step forwards or backwards. The so-called Copenhagen Agreement recognises the scientific case for keeping temperature rises to no more than 2C, but does not contain commitments to emissions reductions to achieve that goal. As the post-summit discussion gears up on whether it was an important first step or a profound disappointment here is the BBC's Climate Change: Copenhagen in Graphics published on the eve of the summit. Along with the exhibition EARTH Art of a Changing World, the BBC graphs provide a timely reminder of the need for a new model of global politics - one that delivers a legally binding treaty on emissions cuts required to beat global warming.    
Images: Mona Hatoum's Hotspot (2006) in the exhibition EARTH Art of a Changing World at the Royal Academy of Arts (image from the exhibition website); two graphs from the BBC NEWS website

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Another Power 100

This link takes you to the ART+AUCTION Power 100 list.
Image: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev gearing up for her role as the artistic director of Documenta 13 in 2012, image from the ARTINFO / ART+AUCTION website. 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Upstairs at Starkwhite

In our upstairs spaces we showing works by Andrew Barber/John Reynolds, Whitney Bedford, Derrick Cherrie, Boris Dornbusch, Matt Henry, Gavin Hipkins, Seung Yul Oh, Jae Hoon Lee, Layla Rudneva-Mackay, Jim Speers, et al.
Image: Whitney Bedford, Pink Iceberg (2009), oil on board, 18" x 22"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas spirit

Each year Tate Britain asks an artist to create a Christmas tree for the gallery. This year Tacita Dean has decorated a Nordmann Fir with specially-made beeswax candles. Each afternoon at 16:00, as the sun sets and light fades from the gallery, the candles will be lit. They are designed to burn out as the gallery closes a1 18:00.

"This work chimes with the traditional idea of what a Christmas tree should look like. The candle-light evokes a sense of magic and wonder, and the act of lighting the tree is at once simple and theatrical, evoking the rituals of Christmas celebrations." Tate Britain website
Image: lighting the candles on Tacita Dean's Christmas tree, titled Weihnachtsbaum, 2009. Photo credit: Geoff Pugh

Friday, December 18, 2009


We'll be presenting a solo project by Dane Mitchell at Art Cologne, which takes place shortly after he completes his one-year residency in the Berliner Kunstlerprogramm DAAD. This link takes you to installation views of his recent exhibition Minor Optics at the daadgalerie, Berlin.

Our art fair programme for the first half of 2010 is: Art Los Angeles Contemporary (28-31 January), The Armory Show, NY (4-7 March), Art Cologne (21-25 April) and ART HK (27-30 May).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Future Generation Art Prize

Ukrainian billionaire and art collector Victor Pinchuk has launched a new $100,000 award for artists under the age of 35. The Future Generation Art Prize will be given every two years and is open to any young artist who applies on line. A team of professionals will also be asked to nominate candidates producing exceptional work.

Under the aegis of his foundation, Pinchuk has assembled an international board that marries up patronage, money, glamour and star power - Los Angeles financier and collector Eli Broad, who also runs a foundation; Miuccia Prada the fashion designer and collector with her own art foundation in Milan; Elton John (Pinchuk rates his photography collection as one of the best in the world); and museum directors Richard Armstrong from the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation and Museum and Glenn D. Lowry from the Museum of Modern Art.

Pinchuk is endeavouring to give his prize a point of difference over others like the Turner Prize and Hugo Boss Prize. With this in mind he has enlisted several established artists - Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Andreas Gursky and Jeff Koons, artists whose work he collects - to serve as mentors for the finalists and winner.

Applications can be submitted from 18 January to 18 April 2010 at the Future Generation Art Prize website.
Image: Victor Pinchuk

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

4th Auckland Triennial website

This link takes you to the website and blog for the 4th Auckland Triennial.

School of Saatchi

Artist Eugenie Scrase has won BBC Two's School of Saatchi show with her tree trunk impaled on a length of fence. The 20 year old beat five finalists to win a place in super collector Charles Saatchi's exhibition Newspeak: British Art Now at the Hermitage and studio space for three years.

In School of Saatchi, a four part BBC Two talent contest, the collector (like the invisible boss in Charlie's Angels) never appeared on the show, which was fronted by a panel of four - artist Tracey Emin, critic Matthew Collings, Art Collector Frank Cohen, and Head of Art Gallery at the Barbican Kate Bush. Of the 3000 people who applied to get on the programme, 12 were left by the start of the first episode and they were whittled down to six finalists chosen for their potential to develop over a ten week period. In the manner of reality TV they were given tasks to perform, including being asked to make a life drawing of a nude woman, produce an outdoor installation for the beach at Hastings in southern England, and create a work to be displayed inside Sudley Castle. The six finalists were also given the task of creating an exhibition for one night only at London's Saatchi Gallery.

Although described as "reclusive" and "camera shy" Saatchi certainly knows how to do 'look at me' as he goes about the business of buying and selling art and scouting new talent.
Images: Eugenie Scrace's winning work and the School of Saatchi judges Matthew Collings, Tracey Emin, Frank Cohen and Kate Bush

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Picturing the Studio

Alicia Frankovich is one of the featured artists in Picturing the Studio which shows at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to 13 February 2010. A companion volume to the exhibition The Studio Reader: On the Space of Artists edited by Mary Jane Jacob and Michelle Grabner will be published by the University of Chicago Press in March 2010.
Image: Alicia Frankovich, Fly/Lose, video 14.22 seconds duration (looped), 2008

Monday, December 14, 2009

Drive-by art

Situated alongside an Auckland motorway feeder road and opposite the entrance to Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Gavin Hipkins' billboard project runs to 7 March 2010.

"Hipkins is known for his use of digitally scanned embroidered patches that alter the way his images are received by both concealing portions of the pictures and inserting new messages and quotes within them. This exhibition marks a new transition for the artist as he abandons images altogether and instead imbeds these patches within fields of retro linear patterns. Maintaining an interest in transcendental traditions, the patches together form a quote from William Blake's Proverbs of Hell, playing off the roadway site of the billboards and the hellish daily commute of local residents." Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts website
Images: Billboard project by Gavin Hipkins (2009), courtesy the artist and Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Pakuranga, NZ

Saturday, December 12, 2009

EARTH: Art of a Changing World

Timed to coincide with the Copenhagen conference, this exhibition looks at climate change through the work of artists such as Sophie Calle, Tacita Dean, Tracey Emin, Spencer Finch, Antony Gormley, Mona Hatoum and Mariele Neudecker. EARTH: Art of a Changing World  runs at the Royal Academy of Arts until 31 January 2010.  You can read more on the exhibition here
Image: 400 Thousand Generations (2009) by Mariele Neudecker, courtesy the artist and Galerie Barbara Thumm, from the Royal Academy exhibition website

Friday, December 11, 2009

McCahon Residency artists announced

Martin Basher and Jim Speers have been awarded places in the 2010 McCahon House Residency Programme. Speers' exhibition Crystal Spirit is currently showing in our downstairs space.
Images: McCahon House, Titirangi, designed by Pete Bossley; Martin Basher, Free Spirit No Interest, installation view, Starkwhite (2009); Jim Speers, Crystal Spirit, installation view, Starkwhite, (2009)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Climate and Culture

The latest issue of M/C Journal is dedicated to the climate-culture nexus in the light of change threats.

"Climate is, presently, a heatedly discussed topic. Concerns about the environmental, economic, political and social consequences of climate change are of central interest in academic and popular debates. As such climate change is a 'hot' cultural discourse and a media issue. Moreover, there has recently been a 'cultural turn' in climate change science and politics, with some scholars arguing that climate change research and action has been hindered because it has not fully accommodated cultural values that give everyday meaning to climate, and consequently urging for greater attention to the cultural dimensions of climate change." Andrew Gorman-Murray and Gordon Waitt, Climate and Culture, M/C Journal, Vol. 12 No.4 2009

This link takes you to M/C Journal and articles published in the climate edition.
Image: NASA satellite image of the dust storm that enveloped the East Coast of Australia on 23 September 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Information, Noise and et al.

M/C Journal was founded in 1998 as "a place of public intellectualism analysing and critiquing the meeting of media and culture". This link will take you to an earlier issue of the journal and Su Ballard's artcle Information, Noise and et al. where she discusses the relationship of information to noise and some particular processes or manifestations of noise in et al. maintenance of social solidarity - instance 5 (2006) exhibited at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu as in the 4th SCAPE Biennale of Art in Public Space. You can visit the et al. website here.
Image: et al. maintenance of social solidarity - instance 5 (2006), exhibited in Don't Misbehave!, SCAPE Biennale of Art in Public Space at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, NZ, 2006. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fourteen days to seal history's judgement on this generation

This link takes you to the Guardian's climate change conference editorial calling on the representatives of the 192 countries gathered in Copenhagen to take decisive action. In an unprecedented step of speaking with one voice, the editorial appeared in 56 newspapers in 45 countries.
Image: Iceberg spotted from a New Zealand shore for the first time in living memory (November 06)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Art Basel Miami Beach Report

"Crowds are smaller at this year's fair, parties more intimate. Discounts are rumoured to be larger. The larger scene surrounding the fair, however, remains daunting, with upwards of fifteen satellite fairs and the usual calendar of parties and talks. From the evidence here, the art fair, as a species, is not endangered: collectors are too attached to its convenience and competitive vibe." Karen Rosenberg in The New York Times.
Image: visitors to Art Basel Miami Beach walk by Rosson Crow's Luna Park 1919. Photo by MIchael F McElroy from NYT article by Karen Rosenberg

Sunday, December 6, 2009


This is Martin Basher's work in HEAVIER THAN A DEATH IN THE FAMILY at 25CPW (NY), with work by Jacob Dyrenforth in the background.
Image: courtesy of the artist and 25CPW

God and guns on Wall Street

While the art market continues to be dogged by uncertainty, it's back to business as usual on Wall Street. Goldman Sachs, the company that was responsible for creating, marketing and trading many of the toxic financial instruments behind the mortgage crisis and ensuing global recession that sent the art market into free fall, has earned a reported 27 billion in the first 9 months of the financial year. Although Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein believes the company is doing "God's work" it appears executives are not relying on divine intervention to protect them from public outrage over their taxpayer-funded change of fortune. As news circulates of the company's plans to pay the highest ever bonuses (they are expected to average over $700,000) Bloomberg columnist Alice Schroeder reports that some bankers are arming themselves out of fear of a public uprising. You can read Schroeder's column here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Art Basel Miami Beach

Art Basel Miami Beach opened on 2 December amidst further reports that the market for contemporary art is in recovery. However, it remains to be seen whether collectors match the confidence of dealers and those in the art fair business - many collectors who have gone to fairs during the recession were there to look, not to buy. When the results of Art Basel Miami Beach are known, art market analysts will have a clearer view of the current state of the market for contemporary art and the outlook for art fairs.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Paper Work at Pallas Contemporary Projects

Alica Frankovich is one of the artists represented in Paper Work at Pallas Contemporary Projects (PCP). Located in Dublin PCP focuses on a discursive exchange between Irish and international artists with a strong conceptual approach working in different media. Curated by Gavin Murphy and Mark Cullen, Paper Work runs from 4 - 19 December 09. You can read the exhibition release here.
Image: Paper Work invitation


Martin Basher is represented in HEAVIER THAN A DEATH IN THE FAMILY curated by Per Billgren and Shanan Smith. Set in the project room of newly opened art collective 25CPW (NY), HTADITHF is described as "...a contemporary art show that questions whether some of the economic conditions of the 60s that inspired the birth of psychedelia aren't analogous to our own current climate, and proposes that inner exploration might be just the prescription to bring us out of an over-saturated media haze. Using a variety of media, the artists in this group show are all working to decode, process, or in some cases reject the incessant information we are being bombarded with in this hyperreal 21st century. This show is about looking through the grid and celebrating the resistance".

Indomitable Women

Hye Rim Lee's Crystal City Spun will feature in the Indomitable Women video programme curated by Macu Moran for the audiovisual section of the Barcelona Art Contemporari Festival. The two sections of the programme - The Historic Cut and Festival Selections - will be presented at Fundacio Joan Miro and the Centre de Culture Contemporania de Barcelona from 4 December 2009 - 7 January 2010.
Image: Hye Rim Lee, from the Crystal City series

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Brought to Light

Last week the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu opened Brought to Light. In a radical departure from the old approach to collection display (semi-permanent hangs set in partitioned spaces) many of the collection highpoints have been re-staged in a new suite of spaces opening off a spacious central corridor.

The curators have taken a more speculative approach to their exhibition making, mixing the art of the past with contemporary art and allocating large spaces for installations of recent acquisitions by artists such as Bill Culbert, Nathan Pohio and John Reynolds. It'll be interesting to see what comes next. Will this show prove to be the first of a series of discrete exhibitions, or part one of an evolving show changing wall-by-wall, room-by-room?

The new approach also appears to be tuned to some current imperatives. As exhibition budgets shrink in New Zealand's recessionary economy and galleries consider their carbon footprints, there are financial and environmental downsides to flying art in from around the world, leading curators to look more often to their collections as a source of inspiration and art for their exhibitions.
Image: Ann Shelton, Wintering, after a Van der Velden study, Otira Gorge, 2008, C-type photograph, one of the artworks presented in Brought to Light

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Audio Tour Through Berlin by Karin Sander

In its series of artist-curated shows, Temporare Kunsthalle Berlin is presenting Zeigen. An Audio Tour Through Berlin by Karin Sander, a project featuring works by more than 400 Berlin-based artists, including Dane Mitchell.

"Inside the Kunsthalle, visitors find only the names of participating artists, marked on the walls around the space in the manner of exhibition labels. The works themselves remain invisible—at first glance, the room appears to be empty. Evading the usual exhibition format and the expectations associated with it, Karin Sander invited fellow artists to translate their own work into an acoustic piece, thus rendering it 'visible'. The very different realizations—performed, sung, spoken, recited—can be accessed individually via an audio guide. For the audience, this opens up a level of perception which leads from the familiar visual approach to artworks towards an auditory, imaginative experience, offering scope for different mental visualizations." Temporare Kunsthalle Berlin release

The exhibition runs from 5 December 2009 to 10 January 2010.
Image: Temporare Kunsthalle Berlin in July 2009, © Temporare Kunsthalle Berlin, photograph Benjamin Pritzkuleit