Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Critic's Part: an overview of the practice of New Zealand's longest serving and most influential critic

Wystan Curnow's book The Critic's Part was launched at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki last night. Edited by Christina Barton and Robert Leonard, the book brings together a selection of Curnow's art writings from 1971 to 2013 to provide the first comprehensive overview of his practice. It features long form essays that investigate the stakes for 'high culture' in a 'small province' like New Zealand; major essays on key artists including Billy Apple, Len Lye and Colin McCahon; reports on the contemporary art scene; catalogue essays and short reviews offering insightful readings of their work. Both a map of contemporary theory and practice and cogent agenda for thinking through the implications and challenges of making art here, it is a must-read book for anyone interested in New Zealand art as it has unfolded since 1970. The book is available from Victoria University Press.