Peter Lange

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1944

Joy of Art

  • Purchased, 1988
  • Stoneware slipcast from found objects
  • 315 x 190 x 180mm
  • 89/43
  • 1988
earlier labels about this work
  • Ape To Zip: Adventures in Alphabet Art, 13 May 2005 – 8 October 2006

    In the exhibition Ape to Zip this work was used for the letter X and was displayed with the following label: and was displayed with the following label:

    JOKE! Concrete, metal, a sponge, a book, a cake of soap… all made from clay???!!! Smiling quietly about this joke is the famous Mona Lisa, by the famous Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. When this artwork was being made, Peter Lange's brother, David Lange, had the (serious!) job of Prime Minister.

    2003 label

    This work incorporates several everyday objects: a vice-like structure, a Joy of Art book and a cake of soap. The objects seem real, but Peter Lange has created a highly convincing illusion. Lange enjoys the challenge of using clay to create the appearance of completely different materials. He describes it as denying the ‘clayness' of the work. This kind of artwork is known as ‘trompe l'oeil', a French phrase meaning to deceive the eye. Peter Lange was born in Otahuhu. In the 1960s he travelled widely, working in a variety of occupations, including driving a London cab and cleaning silver at Buckingham Palace. When he returned to New Zealand, Lange began potting and helped found the Albany Village Pottery Cooperative in 1976. In 1978 Lange moved to Auckland and joined the Potters Arms Cooperative. In 1994 he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council Award and during that year was artist in residence at the Christchurch Polytechnic. Lange has exhibited widely throughout New Zealand.