Art New Zealand

Art New Zealand Spring 2019

New Zealand’s most respected and widely-read visual arts magazine, Art New Zealand presents an independent quarterly round-up of the visual arts in New Zealand, by the country’s best art writers.

New Zealand
Art New Zealand 2009 Ltd
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peter webb (1933–2019)

It is entirely appropriate that a tribute to the late Peter Webb should appear in this magazine, as he founded Art New Zealand in 1976 with Ross Fraser as editor. That was a bold venture at the time, and just one of Peter’s major contributions to our culture. He was a visionary who, as early as 1958, could see the beginnings of a mature contemporary art scene in New Zealand. He made it his life’s work to nurture that vision, laying the foundations for today’s art market. Although he was a businessman, the pursuit of profit was a secondary consideration. He believed that art was not something to make occasional brief expeditions into, but something one believes in before everything else—a way of life. He imparted this passion to many…


Auckland X-Marks: Conversations in Cloth Northart, 10 June–3 July BRONWYN LLOYD Historical record reveals a paucity of written testimonies by missionary women in New Zealand prior to 1823, which led textile scholar and embroiderer Vivien Caughley to make the startling comment in the preface to her book New Zealand’s Historic Samplers (2014) that a sampler ‘may be the only words of a woman which survive’. Underpinning the exhibition X-Marks: Conversations in Cloth, coordinated by Vivien Caughley, Maureen Lander, Jo Torr and Caitlin Timmer-Arends, is the resonant idea of the stitched or ‘marked’ sampler as a forgotten voice that reaches across time to speak its story. Originating at Te Kongahu Museum of Waitangi in 2018, X-Marks appears in a slightly reduced form at Northart. There is a mystery at the heart of this beautiful…

oblong as an egg, flat as a stone as a jungle

Bruce Connew is a New Zealand photographer and artist who has made images since the early 1970s. He earned wide respect for his work with the New Zealand Listener before setting afloat his independent, project-based work with the 1985 book and exhibition series South Africa. His photographic practice evinces a fascination with language and storytelling, expressing itself in a wide variety of modes. In some cases his photographs complement another writer’s story, or rather the writer’s story complements his series, while in other instances he is the author. Some projects include no text at all. His current project about the New Zealand Wars centres around photographing the text that appears on gravestones and memorials, which is an unusual way of combining textual and visual elements. I asked him how he decided…

the wider village

Edith Amituanai Double Take Adam Art Gallery Te Pataka Toi 11 May–14 July, curated by Ane Tonga Edith Amituanai is capturing the world as it happens. Hers are images that respond to the times, and in doing so achieve a remarkable timelessness; images which reflect on the eternity of the in-between. And what times to choose: best of, worst of, the end of the world. These are times in which our interior and exterior lives have become increasingly blurred; in which the imaging and reimaging of identity has been repeatedly and dividedly contested. And yet Amituanai’s images circle these concerns with a distinct wariness. It is as if she is determined to document not the moment of impact, the crashing of the wave on the shore, but rather its far-reaching effects…

be kind

Jack Trolove paints directly and boldly, slashing layers of thick oil paint onto canvas. His process is tangible and exhilarating to observe for it seems to happen as we watch, especially when viewed close up. Marks of the palette knife are left unrevised, ridges of paint, like miniature mountain ranges, rise across the surface of the canvases. Viewed side on, the paintings are like relief sculptures and have projecting lumps of paint sticking out and casting shadows across the surfaces nearby. The paint is so thick that in the recent show, Tenderise, areas were still moist and malleable and far from dry. Trolove’s colour is vibrant—no white—and with strong blues, reds and yellows layered on over and under one another or butted together. He paints with all the energy of an…

accumulating subtractions

Judy Millar The Future and the Past Perfect Kunstmuseum St Gallen, Switzerland, 2 March–19 May curated by Roland Wäspe Frozen Gesture: Gesture in Painting—from Roy Lichtenstein to Katharina Grosse Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, 18 May–18 August curated by Konrad Bitterli, Lynn Kost & Andrea Lutz Judy Millar’s painting was the subject of an overview exhibition curated by Roland Wäspe, Director of the Kunstmuseum St Gallen, Switzerland from March through May 2019: Judy Millar: The Future and the Past Perfect.1 It was a rich, concentrated, enriching and concentrating exhibition, undertaken with care, insight and remarkable acuity by both Wäspe and Millar. Shown in seven large naturally lit rooms on the first floor of the neo-classical revivalist museum, the paintings and masking-tape works offered a compelling invitation for engagement, contemplation and activated response both…