Miranda Parkes

b.1977

Slumper

  • Purchased 2006
  • Acrylic on canvas
  • 1800 x 2200 x 320mm
  • 2006/17
  • 2006

Miranda Parkes’ Slumper occupies its own unique territory, but might also be seen as the wayward love child of British op artist Bridget Riley and American pop artist Claes Oldenburg, best-known for his giant, painted soft sculptures. Slumper seems ready to enfold the viewer and also perfectly comfortable in its own billowing skin. (Op + Pop, 6 February – 19 June 2016)

earlier labels about this work
  • Brought to light, November 2009- 22 February 2011

    Abstract art is almost a century old but, in the hands of Christchurch painter Miranda Parkes, it’s still capable of youthful and irreverent behaviour. Parkes’s painting here does what parents tell their children not to do: it slumps. If it were stretched flat, the work’s striped surface might suggest order and precision. But its spectacularly rumpled state starts to suggest other things – a lavish garment just vacated by a body, or perhaps an unmade bed. Like her teacher Julia Morison, whose lavish work hangs opposite, Parkes makes paintings that happily flirt with fashion and decoration.

  • Tethered lightly to the gallery walls, this twisting, voluminous canvas behaves more like a sculpture than a painting. What we might expect to be a flat surface erupts and expands, defying the limits of painting’s conventional two dimensions. Slumper is celebratory, exuberant and playful, but like all of Miranda Parkes’s works, also pointedly aware of its relationship to the history of modernist abstraction. By flirting with the decorative, it deliberately echoes and subverts that tradition.

    Parkes received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 2005. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions throughout New Zealand, including ‘Hummer, Crasher, Groover, Slacker’ (2006) and ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me Baby’ (2005) at 64zero3 in Christchurch, and Hullbreach at Enjoy Gallery, Wellington in 2004. Parkes is currently the William Hodges artist in residence at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery in Invercargill. (Contemporary Collections hang, 2007)

Related

Exhibition
Miranda Parkes / Tjalling de Vries: Keep left, keep right

Miranda Parkes / Tjalling de Vries: Keep left, keep right

Sharing an interest in expanding the idea of abstract painting beyond its traditional borders, Miranda Parkes and Tjalling de Vries explore the creative possibilities of commercial billboards in an exhibition that combines painting and projection to obstruct and intrigue in equal measure.

Notes
Unruly, unexpected and oblique images

Unruly, unexpected and oblique images

Combining unexpected detours, unruly surfaces and oblique viewpoints, the artists in Keep left, keep right invite viewers to slow down and take notice of the city that surrounds them.

Notes
Manchester Street

Manchester Street

Manchester Street, Christchurch by Louise Henderson was painted in 1929 and shows a streetscape that remained largely unchanged until the earthquake of 22 February.

Exhibition
Sydow: Tomorrow Never Knows

Sydow: Tomorrow Never Knows

1960s London set the scene for Carl Sydow’s playful, op-inspired sculptures.

Exhibition
Op + Pop

Op + Pop

The influence of two major twentieth-century art movements on New Zealand art.

My Favourite
Julian Dashper's Untitled 1996

Julian Dashper's Untitled 1996

Sound artist Paul Sutherland chooses his favourite work from the Gallery’s collection.

 

Article
The pleasure of making: objects taking centre stage in the space of the art gallery

The pleasure of making: objects taking centre stage in the space of the art gallery

Was it serendipity that the opening of Christchurch Art Gallery's Burster Flipper Wobbler Dripper Spinner Stacker Shaker Maker coincided with that of Slip Cast, a group exhibition at the Dowse Art Museum that also focused on the pleasure that artists take in manipulating materials in the process of making art?

Article
New Zealand in the Biennale of Sydney and the Biennale of Sydney in New Zealand

New Zealand in the Biennale of Sydney and the Biennale of Sydney in New Zealand

and the Biennale of Sydney in New Zealand

Collection
Energy Triad
Don Driver Energy Triad

Op + Pop 6 February – 19 June 2016

The New Plymouth-based Don Driver worked from the mid-1970s until the 1990s on sculptural assemblages made from found materials. Echoing the work of American pop artist Robert Rauschenberg, whose work Driver had experienced while visiting New York in 1965, Energy Triad makes assertive use of familiar, locally sourced items, placing pioneering farming tools alongside advertising and road signage, all with a meticulous eye to formal balance and arrangement.

Collection
Elongated Triangles 4
Bridget Riley Elongated Triangles 4

Op + Pop 6 February – 19 June 2016

British artist Bridget Riley is a leading name in the op art movement. Her work came to international attention in 1965 when included in an exhibition called The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, alongside artists including Victor Vasarely and Josef Albers.

Riley’s earliest op art paintings in black and white had a major impact on 1960s fashion, advertising and design. She increasingly used colour in her work from 1967 onwards, when she also began using simplified forms, often vertical straight or wavy lines, and colour variation and contrast that produced a sense of movement.

Collection
Drawing 6: V
Carl Sydow Drawing 6: V

Carl Sydow has used these 20 cubes, each tilted onto one edge, to explore form, surface texture and the presence of objects within space. Taken individually, each object is distinct, as the 'light' falls in a different way on every surface, but together they form an engaging abstract pattern. Sydow created the work with a combination of precise ink drawing and the use of letrafilm, a system of ready-made transfers. The effect creates the illusion that the work is three-dimensional. Sydow's formal investigation of abstract properties such as colour, line, tone, volume and movement reflect the influence of Constructivism on his work. Born in Takapau, in the central Hawkes Bay, Sydow studied at the Schools of Fine Arts at both the University of Canterbury and Auckland University. After graduating, he went to the Royal College of Art, London, on an Arts Council grant from 1964 to 1966. Sydow regularly exhibited with The Group in Christchurch and was a founding member of the Sculptors’ Group, formed in 1970.

Collection
Untitled
Gordon Walters Untitled

For the exhibition Untitled #1050 (25 November 2017 – 14 October 2018) this work was displayed with the following label:

“I like the rigorous quality of geometric abstract painting. I like the clarity of idea. I like the means used. I like the severity and the rigour of it. I don’t think this is a limitation. I think this is something which frees you to all kinds of investigation. It opens up all kinds of possibilities.”

—Gordon Walters, 1975

Collection
Untitled
Gordon Walters Untitled

New Zealand painter Gordon Walters started making his optically charged paintings in 1956, four years before the British painter Bridget Riley, op art’s principal exponent, began working with similar ideas. Walters’ explorations owed much to his study of Māori and Papua New Guinean art and their positive/ negative treatment of space, and to the abstract modernist painting he had seen while in Europe in 1950–51. Although best-known for his koru (fern bud motif ) paintings, his later, more simplified works remained equally visually challenging.

(Op + Pop, 6 February – 19 June 2016)

Collection
Roy Lichtenstein Flowers

Op + Pop 6 February – 19 June 2016

Roy Lichtenstein’s Flowers is art about art; a parody both of cubism and of the long-established still life genre. Lichtenstein was a leading figure in

the American pop art movement from the 1960s. He began making still lifes in 1972, riffing off artists such as Fernand Léger, Juan Gris, Henri Matisse and Piet Mondrian while applying his adaptation of graphic comic book style and commercial printing techniques.

Flowers exists in multiple versions. The screenprint (and a Christmas card) followed a much larger work in paper collage, tape and marker on card.

Collection
 Mao Tse-Tung
Andy Warhol Mao Tse-Tung

Op + Pop 6 February – 19 June 2016

Closely associated with notions of fame and popular culture, Andy Warhol was a leading name in American pop art, and renowned for using the aesthetics of advertising and commercial printing techniques in his work.

Warhol’s screenprint of Mao Tse-Tung was made when communist China’s founder was still alive. It adapted a portrait that was used throughout China in veneration of its leader and his ideas. The blue-faced Chairman Mao is one of a series of colour variations Warhol created, all equally startling. He made similar portraits of American icons including Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley and Mickey Mouse.

Collection
Whiteout
Neil Dawson Whiteout

Neil Dawson’s sculptures consistently explore the slippage between appearance and reality. We think we see solid forms, but on closer inspection they turn out to be illusions.

Whiteout conveys Dawson’s fascination with these ideas and playfully challenges our perceptions of space and movement. This wall sculpture is reminiscent of the early structures of the Dadaists and Russian Constructivist sculptors Vladimir Tatlin (1885–1953) and Antoine Pevsner (1886–1962) in the early 20th century. Dawson is one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary site-specific artists. His innovative use of sculptural materials and principles of perspective are evident in this early example of his work.

Born in Christchurch, Dawson studied at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Victoria Art School, Melbourne. He has exhibited widely and has several major public installations in New Zealand and internationally.

Collection
Chromatic Variations IX
Mervyn Williams Chromatic Variations IX

This work is one a series of screenprints, the name of which reflects Mervyn Williams’ love of Johann Sebastian Bach’s music and also refers to variations in colour. He has said that Chromatic Variations IX can be looked at as if it was a Tibetan mandala, rather than simply being a design. Williams’ painting and printing have always centred on formal abstraction. In the Chromatic Variations series he abstracted forms in a complex manner and experimented with different colours in each print. Williams was born in Whakatane in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. In 1956 he met artist Ted Dutch (b. 1928) who got him interested in silk-screen work. Williams studied at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland. He won First Prize in the Graphic Section of the Hay’s Art Award in 1966 and was represented in the ‘International Biennale Exhibition of Graphic Art’ in Tokyo in 1966 and 1972. Williams also won the New Zealand Print Council Samarkand Award in 1969.