Energies and anxieties from the threshold of the new millennium.
A major new exhibition of contemporary works from the collection, Your Hotel Brain focuses on the cohort of New Zealand artists who came to national – and in some cases international – prominence in the 1990s, many of whom had a particular association with Christchurch. The title of the exhibition is a phrase drawn from Don DeLillo’s epic novel of the 1990s, Underworld. 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 criticality and slippage of context in the digital era.
- Curator: Lara Strongman
- Exhibition number: 1042
Shane Cotton: Baseland
Christchurch audiences at last have the opportunity to experience the complexity and ambition of Cotton's latest work in this two-venue exhibition by one of the biggest names in New Zealand art.
When we asked Tony de Lautour to produce a new work for the Bunker—the name Gallery staff give to the small, square elevator building at the front of the forecourt on Montreal Street—he proposed a paint scheme inspired by Dazzle camouflage. Associated with the geometric near-abstraction of the vorticist movement, Dazzle was developed by British and American artists during the First World War to disguise shipping. It was a monumental form of camouflage that aimed not to hide the ship but to break up its mass visually and confuse enemies about its speed and direction. In a time before radar and sonar were developed, Dazzle was designed to disorientate German U-boat commanders looking through their periscopes, and protect the merchant fleets.
Senior curator Lara Strongman spoke with Tony de Lautour in late January 2016.
This article first appeared as 'Painting offers a multiverse of symbols' in The Press on 21 June 2017.
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.
Bringing the Soul
As an eleven-year-old boy from Whāngarei, sent to live in Yaldhurst with my aunt in the late seventies, Christchurch was a culture shock. Arriving in New Zealand’s quintessential ‘English city’, I remember well the wide landscapes and manicured colonial built environment. It was very pretty but also very monocultural, with no physical evidence of current or former Māori occupation or cultural presence, or at least none that I could appreciate at that time.
Te Tihi o Kahukura: The Citadel of Kahukura
Selected works by Bill Sutton considered from a Kāi Tahu perspective.
The Devil’s Blind Spot: Recent Strategies in New Zealand Photography
Recent photography by an emerging generation of New Zealand artists.
A small but poetic exhibition looking at early European and Māori representations of seafaring vessels, with the Charlotte Jane as a focal point.
Five significant works of art that look to traditional Māori architecture to inform modernist and contemporary Māori art practice.
He Rau Maharataka Whenua: A Memory of Land
Canterbury modernist landscape painting from the collections of Te Puna o Waiwhetu Christchurch Art Gallery, poignantly revised from within a Kāi Tahu perspective
Speaking sticks and moving targets
New works by Shane Cotton
The Hanging Sky brings together Shane Cotton's skyscapes from the past five years. But the core of the exhibition is a big group of freshly made works of art. Senior curator Justin Paton first saw them in completed form during the show's installation in Brisbane. Here he describes his encounters with a body of work 'at once beautiful, aggressive, protective and evasive.'
Back on 20 September 2011, when our public programmes team began setting up the Hagley Park Geo Dome for a talk with Shane Cotton, they put out about sixty chairs and would have been glad to fill them. After all, it was a cold night in Christchurch, the roads were rough, the Geo Dome was off the beaten track and the quake had long since broken the rhythm of the Gallery's old Wednesday night programme of public talks.
New Zealand in the Biennale of Sydney and the Biennale of Sydney in New Zealand
and the Biennale of Sydney in New Zealand