Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Dowse gets a new curator

Since it was established in 1971 the gallery known as 'the Dowse' has gone through many changes. During the 70s the Dowse Art Gallery established a strong reputation as one of New Zealand's edgier contemporary galleries, notably under Jim Barr's directorship. In James Mack's time the gallery shifted its focus away from contemporary art towards the decorative arts and became the Dowse Art Museum. With Tim Walker came another shift in direction - creative thinking and entrepreneurship were added to the mix. "Forget museum or gallery - think 21st century creative hub", he said as the Dowse Art Museum became TheNewDowse. And the latest in the line of directors, Cam McCracken, has signaled another shift of direction with his early exhibition forays and the appointment of Emma Bugden as the Dowse's new senior curator. Contemporary art is back in the mix and TheNewDowse is starting to look more like the old Dowse in its heyday when it was at the forefront of contemporary art programming in New Zealand.

Emma Bugden is currently the director of Artspace in Auckland and will take up her curatorial position at the TheNewDowse in March 2011.
Image: Emma Budgen

Friday, July 30, 2010

Still Vast Reserves at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces

Alicia Frankovich is in the lineup of artists in Stage Two of the international exchange exhibition Still Vast Reserves which opens tonight at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne and runs to 28 August 2010. You can read more about the exhibition here

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Peter Stichbury at Tracy Williams Ltd, NY

Peter Stichbury will have his first solo exhibition at Tracy Williams Ltd in September. The invitation to exhibit came after the New York gallerist spotted his work at Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2010. The Proteus Effect will feature five paintings and a suite of prints reflecting the metamorphosis that occurs through digital self-representation via the use of avatars and invented personas. The exhibition opens in New York on Friday 10 September and runs to 30 October 2010.
Image: Peter Stichbury, Estelle 5, acrylic on linen, 505 x 605mm

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Seung Yul Oh at the Melbourne Art Fair

The Melbourne Art Fair programme includes Project Rooms for curators and artspaces to profile the work of artists in a series of spaces in and around the Royal Exhibition Building. Artspace (Auckland) is presenting a project by Seung Yul Oh in one of its allocated rooms and is the sole New Zealand flag-bearer in this year's lineup of Project Room galleries. We'll post images of Seung Yul Oh's room next week.
Image: Seung Yul Oh, Globglob, 2010, fibreglass and two-pot automotive paint

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Melbourne Art Foundation Artist Commission

The Melbourne Art Fair opens next week. One of the highlights will be the Melbourne Art Foundation 2010 Commission, which has gone to Jon Campbell for Stacks On. Campbell's winning work is a collection of stacked light boxes featuring different signage and 12 fabric banners designed to hang from the ceiling under the dome of the exhibition building. The Foundation will gift the work to an Australian public art institution and the recipient will be revealed during the fair.
Image: Jon Campbell with some of his light boxes. Photograph by Rodger Cummins, from the Sydney Morning Herald

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jae Hoon Lee: Ground Zero

Jae Hoon Lee's exhibition Ground Zero opens tomorrow night (Tuesday 27 July) at 6.00 pm and runs to 21 August 2010. This link takes you to the Ground Zero exhibition release.
Image: Jae Hoon Lee, Lake Tilicho (2010), digital print on photographic paper

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A professional practice

Julian Dashper was a supremely talented and much-loved artist. Last night (a week before the anniversary of his death) the Gus Fisher Gallery opened an exhibition of his work that explores some critical strands to his practice, while also sharing some of his lesser known gems. Curated by Ariane Craig-Smith, Julian Dashper: Professional Practice is a must-see exhibition that runs to 28 August 2010.
Julian Dashper, Untitled (The Painter's Mistake), 2007 (detail), Hamish McKay stand, Auckland Art Fair May 2007, Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki. Photographer Patrick Pound

Friday, July 23, 2010

No barriers, no restrictions

We had planned to post a comment on restrictive photography policies, partly because we have opted for open access in our gallery and at other events (like art fairs), as long as we have the approval of the artists we are exhibiting. However, Best of 3 has beaten us to the punch with Snap-Happy, which is well worth a visit.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Large-scale art projects

The Tate Britain has unveiled its new Duveens Commission, Harrier and Jaguar, by Fiona Banner. Banner's largest work to date, Harrier and Jaguar brings the highly charged physicality of two real fighter jets, both previously in active military service, into the unexpected setting of the neoclassical Duveen Galleries.

Opportunities for artists to undertake ambitious projects like Harrier and Jaguar are harder to come by in New Zealand. Public art galleries occasionally commission large-scale art projects - Peter Robinson's Snow Ball Blind Time (2008) that occupied the entire 574 square meters of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery springs to mind. Scale will also be a feature of some of the works being commissioned for Auckland's waterfront under the City Council's public art programme, notably with Anthony McCall's work in a huge silo at the Tank Farm. But it's hard to beat Alan Gibbs' sculpture park at The Farm on the Kaipara where artists like Anish Kapoor and Richard Serra have been able to work on a monumental scale creating spectacular, site-specific sculptures. 
Image: Fiona Banner, Harrier and Jaguar, 2010, Duveen Galleries, Tate Britain

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Len Lye film wins Van Gogh Award

Art That Moves, Roger and Shirley Horrock's film about Len Lye, has been awarded the Van Gogh Award at the Amsterdam Film Festival. You can read more about the film and award here.
Image: Len Lye, Self Portrait (With Night Tree), 1947

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Show me the money

This year's Bold Horizon National Contemporary Art Award (formerly the Trust Waikato National Contemporary Art Award) has announced that Rachel Kent, Senior Curator at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art, is the judge for the 2010 award. While the host museum and sponsor of the revamped award are endeavouring to position it as "one of New Zealand's premier art events", the prize remains at $15,000, which is well short of other national art awards.

The Arts Foundation's annual Laureate Awards are worth $50,000 (five are awarded each year, across art forms) and the New Generation Awards are worth $25,000 (five are awarded bi-annually, also across art forms). And the Foundation administers the annual Harriet Friedlander Award, which sends an artist to New York for as long as the $80,000 award lasts, and the $25,000, bi-annual Marti Friedlander Photographic Award.  

With an estimated value of $160,000, the annual Wallace Art Awards include the Paramount Award, a six-month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Programme, New York; the Kaipara Foundation Wallace Trust Award, a three-month residency at Altes Spital in Solothurn, Switzerland; the Fulbright Wallace Arts Trust Award, a three-month residency at the Headlands Centre for the Arts in San Francisco; and the Wallace Development Award, a two-month residency at the Vermont Studio Centre. 

And the winner of the bi-annual Walters Prize receives $50,000 plus an all-expenses-paid trip to New York to exhibit at Saatch & Saatchi's worldwide headquarters, with an additional $5000 going to each of the four shortlisted artists. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Upstairs at Starkwhite

This week we are installing a new show downstairs. Upstairs we are showing works by represented artists including this print by Dane Mitchell.
Image: Dane Mitchell, DUST STORMS, 2009, archival digital print on acid-free paper, 1040 x 900 mm, 2/3

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Coming up at Starkwhite

Our next exhibition downstairs is Jae Hoon Lee: Ground Zero, which runs from 26 July to 21 August 2010. We'll post the opening date later next week.
Image: Jae Hoon Lee, Tracks (2010), one of the works in Ground Zero

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Contraflow: last day

Today is the final day of Matt Henry's exhibition Contraflow.
Image: Matt Henry, Untitled diptych (White) 2010, acrylic on linen, 710 x 1188 mm

Friday, July 16, 2010

Saatchi eyes up Korea

Charles Saatchi, who is always on the lookout for new art/artists, is set to curate a show of contemporary Korean art at his King's Road gallery in 2012. He has set the ball rolling at the Saatchi space this year with Fantastic Ordinary, a group show organised by the non-profit foundation Korea Eye.
Image: Kim Hyun-soo, Breik (2008), Fantastic Ordinary exhibition, Saatchi Gallery London, July 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sol LeWitt's gift economy

The story of Sol LeWitt's exchanges with other artists is widely known and all of the works he received through these exchanges are held in the Sol LeWitt Private Collection. For LeWitt, the act of exchange was an integral part of his conceptual practice, one that challenged the artworld's dominant economic model through a gift economy.

The process of exchange will be explored in a two-part MASS MoCA/Cabinet exhibition curated by Regine Basha who says: "If we consider the process of exchange as another of Sol LeWitt's instructional pieces, then the rational (or irrational) thing to do is to continue to exchange work and ideas, if only symbolically with him."

The exhibition proceeds from a call to those who share an affinity with Sol LeWitt's legacy as a conceptual artist, to those who knew him and those who did not - to anyone who has ever wondered "What would Sol LeWitt Like?"

Gifts to Sol LeWitt can take the form of an image, an object, a piece of music, or a film. Books, ephemera and other non-perishable items are also welcome. All contributions to the project will be exhibited at either Cabinet or MASS MoCA.

You can find out more about An Exchange with Sol LeWitt by emailing Regine Basha at
Image: Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing at the MCA Sydney, 1998

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Desert manoeuvres

In a surprisingly bold move last year the Australian War Memorial (AWM) agreed to send Shaun Galdwell to Afghanistan as an official war artist. Australia has sent artists to war since Will Dyson went in 1917, but Gladwell is the first video artist to go. He spent three weeks in the Oruzgan province working alongside Australian troops and his current exhibition at the AWM, Double Field: Shaun Gladwell - Afghanistan represents his response to the technology, landscape and soldiers he encountered while on manoeuvres. This link takes you to an article on the exhibition, which runs to 18 August 2010.
Image: Shaun Gladwell in the Oruzgan province, Afghanistan, October 2009

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Artspace New Artists Show

KNOWING YOU, KNOWING ME: New Artists Show 2010 opened at Artspace on Friday 9 July 2010. Curated by Emma Bugden, the exhibition brings together artists who work across two specific mediums: performance and drawing. "At first glance these mediums might seem an unlikely combination, but within Knowing You, Knowing Me they are connected through an emphasis on small and personal gestures", she says.

The performances include Trenton Garratt's Model Conversations: The Last Days of a Famous Mime. Each Sunday Garratt will be present at Artspace between 11.00 am - 4.00 pm to meet visitors and deliver a reading of a short story by Peter Carey.
Image: Trenton Garratt, Model Conversations: The Last Days of a Famous Mime (2010), seats by Grace Jung, Artspace, Auckland NZ, July 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Contraflow: final week

Matt Henry's exhibition Contraflow closes on Saturday 17 July 2010.
Image: Matt Henry, Control (2010), acrylic on linen, frame and perspex, 305 x 305 mm

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Upstairs at Starkwhite

Images: Seung Yul Oh, Globglob & Co.gorri (2010), fibreglass, two-pot automotive paint

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Upstairs at Starkwhite

Upstairs we have works on display by represented artists, including this one by Martin Basher.
Image: Martin Basher, LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BIBLE (2008), Venetian blind, fluorescent lights, found Jehovah's witness pamphlet, 1530 x 2300 mm, edition of 5

Friday, July 9, 2010

Auckland's waterfront art projects

Three art projects will be completed at Auckland's Tank Farm development by the time of next year's Rugby World Cup. After being mothballed to make way for the Britomart station makeover, Michio Ihara's stainless steel Wind Tree will be sited at Jellico Plaza. The other two art projects are Sounds of Sea, a collaborative work by Aamu Song and Johan Olin, and an installation in and on a cement silo by Anthony McCall who visited New Zealand earlier this year for his exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery. This link takes you to the Gallery's website page for Anthony McCall: Drawing with Light.

More projects are planned. They are being rolled out by the City Council's public art manager working with an art advisory panel consisting of Trish Clark (Chair), Judy Darragh, Mei Hill, David Irwin, Gwynneth Porter, Chris Saines, Nicholas Stevens and Ri Williamson.
Image: Anthony McCall, installation view of Breath (The Vertical Works) at Hanger Bicocca, Milan (2009), image from the Adam Art Gallery website

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A charity art auction with a point of difference

In an earlier posting, we commented on the impact of charity art auctions on artists. Many, and especially those who are asked time and again, are tired of being the first port of call whenever there is a need to raise funds for a worthy cause. It's not because they don't support the cause or buy into the culture of giving, but rather because they believe charity auction organisers could ask others to stump up for a change.

It's pleasing to see that the organisers of the latest charity art auction in Auckland have widened their net. In addition to securing works by a number of artists, the lots for FOR THE LOVE OF ART also include contributions from Crane Brothers, Indice, Karen Walker Jewellery, Graeme Thompson Antiques and the Eagles Nest luxury retreat.

The auction, which is being organised the New Zealand AIDS Foundation in conjunction with ART + OBJECT  takes place tonight at 3 Vernon Street, Freeman's Bay, Auckland from 6.00 pm, with all proceeds (there is no buyers premium) going to essential HIV prevention initiatives.  

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

China in Four Seasons: final installment

The final installment of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery's year-long investigation of contemporary art from China sees Song Dong and Yin Xiuzhen present installations of sculpture and video works that respond to the rapid rate of social change and urbanisation currently talking place in China and their impacts on family and social life.

Curated by Rhana Devenport, the exhibition unfolds in two parts: the first comprising existing works (on display to 12 September 2010), while the second part - from 21 August - will consist of new commissions produced through a residency in New Plymouth. Song Dong will collaborate with the couple's eight-year old daughter Song ErRui, while Yin Xiuzhen will work outside the gallery engaging with the street, urban development and the textures of daily life.
Image: Yin Xiuzhen, Weapons, 2007 (detail), from the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery website and courtesy of the artist and Beijing Commune.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

MoMA's online communities

MoMA director Glenn Lowry was in Australia recently to deliver the keynote address for the conference Museums of the 21st Century at the Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne and to deliver the Ann Lewis Contemporary Visual Arts International Address at the Museum of Contemporary art in Sydney. One of his interests is the way institutions are transcending physical space by developing new creative online collaborations and how technology is radically changing the art museum business. He says: "Technology is now so essential, it's threaded into almost everything we do - from the most mundane wiring of the institution to the incredibly complicated ways in which artists are able to create images and how we present that on line."

He's also moved on from the school of thought that says the museum experience must remain the one-on-one experience of a collection presented in real space. As content increasingly moves into cyberspace the audiences that grow around that content are as valid for him as those that walk through the doors of MoMA. "The way we process information and how we consume content are changing, especially for the younger generations," he says. The bottom line for him is art museums must keep up or lose the race: "The contemporary world is changing so quickly that if you're not with it, it's gone and you're obselete."

You can sample some of MoMA's online programmes here.
Image: Glenn Lowry, Director of the Museum of Modern Art, NY

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ann Shelton picks up art prize

Independent curator and writer Lara Strongman has announced that Ann Shelton is the winner of the 2010 Anthony Harper Award for Contemporary Art and the prize of $10,000. Her work Wintering, after a van der Velden study, Otira Gorge was selected by Strongman who commented that it was "a powerful, haunting image, whose economy of expression belies the conceptual richness of the work."
Image: Ann Shelton, Wintering, after a van der Velden study, Otira Gorge, diptych, C-type photographs, 1214 x 1520 each

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Upstairs at Starkwhite

While Matt Henry's exhibition Contraflow is showing downstairs, we have a suite of works from his TPS-L2 series upstairs.
Image (from the left): Matt Henry, TPS-L2 (Titanium Yellow), TPS-L2 (Lamp Black), TPS-L2 (Cadmium Orange), TPS-L2 (Cobalt Turquoise), TPS-L2 (Cyan), TPS-L2 (Vanadium Green), TPS-L2 (Cobalt Blue), 2009, acrylic on linen, 90 x 135 x 30 mm

Friday, July 2, 2010

Saatchi gallery and art gifted to the nation

Charles Saatchi is gifting his London gallery to the nation along with more than 25 million pounds worth of art to secure the institution's future as a showcase for emerging artists. More than 200 works will be donated including Tracey Emin's signature My Bed (1998) and Jake and Dinos Chapman's Tragic Anatomies (1996). The gallery will continue to operate under the Saatchi masthead until he retires when it will be renamed the Museum of Contemporary Art, London. The running costs are to be met through sponsorship, catering, retailing and hall hire and the foundation set up to run the gallery will have the right to buy and sell art.
Image: Charles Saatchi

Present Tense: An imagined grammar of portraiture in the digital age

Jae Hoon Lee is represented in Present Tense: An imagined grammar of portraiture in the digital age at the National Portrait Gallerty, Canberra. Curated by Michael Desmond, the exhibition considers the alliance between portraiture and technology showing how different ways of imagining in this contemporary digital world reflect the way the individual is perceived and the various mechanisms of imaging that are used to manipulate perception. This link takes you to the exhibition page on the National Portrait Gallery's website and you can read Michael Desmond's catalogue essay here. The exhibition runs to 22 August 2010. 
Image: Jae Hoon Lee, Tattoo (2002), single channel colour video

Thursday, July 1, 2010

China Art Objects moves to Culver City

In 1998 Giovanni Intra and Steve Hanson decided to start an artist-run gallery. After scouring Los Angeles they found a small store in a deserted mall on Chung King Road in the city's Chinatown district. Taking the gallery's name, China Art Objects, from a sign left by the previous tenant, they opened the gallery on 1999 in a space designed by Pae White and built with their friends. Other galleries followed China Art Objects to the Chung King Road Mall placing Chinatown on the LA art map. So it was a surprise to hear today that China Art Objects is moving to Culver City. Steve Hanson says while they are excited about their future in Culver City they are also sad to be saying goodbye to such a rich and inspiring space.