Tony de Lautour Underworld 2 2006. Acrylic on unstretched canvas. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, purchased by the Friends of Christchurch Art Gallery 2007

Tony de Lautour Underworld 2 2006. Acrylic on unstretched canvas. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, purchased by the Friends of Christchurch Art Gallery 2007

Your Hotel Brain

We recently opened a new collection-based exhibition, Your Hotel Brain. Curated by Lara Strongman, it focuses on the cohort of New Zealand artists who came to national – and in some cases international – prominence in the 1990s. The title of the exhibition is a phrase drawn from Don DeLillo’s epic novel, Underworld, published in 1997. It gestures towards the way that pieces of information float through your mind, checking in and out, everything demanding attention, everything happening all at once – a metaphor for postmodernism in the 1990s and for the increasing slippage of context in the digital era. The 1990s were a time of great social and cultural change in Aotearoa New Zealand, set against a broader backdrop of globalisation and the rise of digital technologies. Artists, as ever, registered these cultural shifts early. We asked a number of people who were working in the arts at the time to recall their experiences of the 1990s.

Continued
Notes
TEDx Christchurch

TEDx Christchurch

Want to go to Christchurch's own TEDx? 

Commentary
Laurence Aberhart

Laurence Aberhart

New Zealand artist Laurence Aberhart is internationally regarded for his photographs of unpeopled landscapes and interiors. He photographs places redolent with the weight of time, which he captures with his century-old large-format camera and careful framing. But he’s always taken more spontaneous photographs of people too, particularly in the years he lived in Christchurch and Lyttelton (1975–83) when he photographed his young family, his friends and occasionally groups of strangers. ‘If I lived in a city again,’ he says, ‘I would photograph people. One of the issues is that I even find it difficult to ask people whether I can photograph a building, so to ask to photograph them – I’m very reticent. I also know that after a number of minutes of waiting for me to set cameras up and take exposure readings and so on, people can get rather annoyed. So it’s not a conscious thing, it’s more just an accident of the way I photograph.’

Supporter
Stu Roberts, ANZ Private

Stu Roberts, ANZ Private
Foundation Partner

ANZ Private is really proud to sponsor Christchurch Art Gallery Foundaiton, and support Christchurch.

It’s wonderful to be able to bring quality art to Christchurch and have it accessible to everyone.

Commentary
See Italy and Die

See Italy and Die

‘A man who has not been to Italy is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see.’
Samuel Johnson, 1776

As every traveller knows, there is something obsessive about setting out on a journey: the preparatory work of consulting guides, the organisation of itineraries, the accommodation pre-booked, bags packed with essentials, provisions for the journey assembled. This essay explores the metaphor of a journey, with the particular Italian twist that informs the work of the artists gathered together in the exhibition The Weight of Sunlight.

Notes
Christchurch Art Gallery Foundation's Fifth Annual Gala Dinner

Christchurch Art Gallery Foundation's Fifth Annual Gala Dinner

London's hottest chefs are coming to town – and you're invited to dinner!

Notes
Te Puna o Waiwhetu remembers Cliff Whiting

Te Puna o Waiwhetu remembers Cliff Whiting

He whare whakairo ki te tohunga, he whare kōrero, he whare rangatira.

'The master carver’s house becomes one that is treasured and is revered.'

Collection
Unshatterable (Belgian Refugees)
Frances Hodgkins Unshatterable (Belgian Refugees)

The Dunedin-born Frances Hodgkins was running her own watercolour painting school in Paris when World War I broke out in 1914. She relocated to St. Ives in Cornwall, where she found many displaced Belgian families also living, and painted this work in response to their wretched plight. Unshatterable, one of her first oil paintings, was exhibited in London in 1916 and purchased by the painter Sir Cedric Morris. Dr Rodney Wilson, the Gallery’s director in 1980, visited Morris, and with assistance from the National Art Collections Fund, a British art charity, successfully secured this work for the Christchurch collection.

(Treasury: A Generous Legacy, 18 December 2015 – 27 November 2016)

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