Séraphine Pick

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1964

Everything Old is New Again

  • Gift of the W. A. Sutton Trust
  • Oil on linen
  • 2500 x 1800mm
  • L02/2018
  • 2011

For the past few years, Séraphine Pick has been trawling the internet for figures in particular poses – “second-hand life models”, as they’ve been described – reassembling them in new configurations on the canvas. In this work, people are texting on their phones and hunched over laptops, while a vaguely 1960s-looking rock band fronted by a female guitarist plays on blasted and barren ground. Figures in a variety of historical attire rise like wraiths at the edges of the image. Pick’s monumental work explores both the cyclical nature of time and the increasing crisis of the contemporary. Everything that’s old is new again looks like a depiction of the end of the world, and perhaps like a kind of 1960s utopianism coming round again… but it also looks like right now.

(Now, Then, Next: Time and the Contemporary, 15 June 2019 – 8 March 2020)

This work comprises three panels. Each panel measures 2500 x 1800 mm and the entire work therefore measures 2500 x 5400mm.