Exhibition

Your Hotel Brain

From 13 May 2017

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.

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Senior curator Lara Strongman spoke with Tony de Lautour in late January 2016.

Collection
Underworld 2
Tony de Lautour Underworld 2
In the role of the urban bricoleur, (collector of objects and images), Tony de Lautour gleans imagery found in comics, on the streets (such as tattoos) and advertising logos. Underworld 2 combines a myriad of haphazard symbols and shapes, seemingly painted at random. The artist’s use of dots and dashes however, serves to bring order and structure to the optically disconcerting composition. Lightning bolts, arrows, stars, speech bubbles and splices of landscape all punctuate the work and form a collective entity. Highly charged and loaded with a network of connected ciphers, this luxurious canvas causes the viewer to re-evaluate assumptions made about history, culture and contemporary society. Tony de Lautour was born in Melbourne in 1965. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch in 1988. He has exhibited regularly throughout New Zealand since 1990, including ‘A Very Peculiar Practice’, City Gallery, Wellington, 1995; and ‘Failure?’, Next Wave Festival, Linden Gallery, Melbourne, 1996. In 1995 de Lautour received the Premier Award in the Visa Gold Art Award.
Collection
Untitled (Red Masks)
Yuk King Tan Untitled (Red Masks)
Meticulously binding a pair of masks with the silky red tassels that can be found in the Chinese market of almost any major city, Yuk King Tan explores how immigrants to any place, like these imported objects, preserve or camouflage aspects of their own culture. As a Chinese New Zealander born in Australia, Tan has often made work that investigates cultural identity and dislocation, using red to suggest the staying power of ancestral connections. This work, which features Disney-style Hansel and Gretel masks, was made while she was in Kassel, Germany – the home of the Brothers Grimm of fairytale fame. (Brought to Light, November 2009)
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

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Notes
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Notes
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This article first appeared in The Press on 5 April 2006


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