Exhibition

Simon Denny: The Founder's Paradox

The Founder’s Paradox uses gaming to reflect on competing political visions for New Zealand’s future.

Commentary
Raiding the Minibar

Raiding the Minibar

When does history start? What is the time span of the present? When do the margins of the contemporary begin to dissolve into the past? Our collection-based exhibition, Your Hotel Brain, looks at a group of New Zealand artists who came to prominence in the 1990s. Collectively their work explores ideas that have been critical to art-making in Aotearoa New Zealand over the past twenty years. Identity politics, unreliable autobiographies and references to a broad spectrum of visual culture – including Black Sabbath’s music, prison tattoos, automotive burn-outs and our no-smoking legislation – traverse the contested ground of recent New Zealand art, linking the just-past with the emerging present. A selection of works from the exhibition are reproduced here.

Exhibition

Julia Morison: Head[case]

An installation of seven small hexagonal rooms and 100 ceramic heads, each distinctly different from the next, by one of Ōtautahi Christchurch’s most inventive artists

Notes
Tod Greift In Kinderschar by Käthe Kollwitz

Tod Greift In Kinderschar by Käthe Kollwitz

This article first appeared as 'A compelling artist-advocate remembered' in The Press, 22 November 2017.

Exhibition

Steve Carr: Chasing the Light

A beautiful and bewildering night-time adventure.

Exhibition

Closer: Old Favourites, New Stories

New perspectives on ten of the Gallery’s best-loved paintings.

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.’

Commentary
Your Hotel Brain

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.

Notes
Underworld 2 by Tony de Lautour

Underworld 2 by Tony de Lautour

This article first appeared as 'Painting offers a multiverse of symbols' in The Press on 21 June 2017. 

Notes
Your Hotel Brain

Your Hotel Brain

This week we've been installing a new collection exhibition, Your Hotel Brain. It replaces curator Ken Hall's elegant meditation on architecture and memory, Above Ground, in the contemporary collection galleries.

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