Art New Zealand

Art New Zealand No 154 Winter 2015

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



Auckland A world undone: Works from the Chartwell Collection Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki 8 November 2014–6 April 2015 EDWARD HANFLING Sculpture Sequence (2012) is strikingly inconsequential. By this I mean that the filmed performance by Australian artists Gabriella and Silvana Mangano is sensorily arresting: white ‘figures’ (large sheets of folded card manipulated by the artists) rise, float, quiver and collapse against a black ‘ground’ (the artists’ clothing, dark space). And, happily, there is no definite point to the work. It is the first thing you come to in A world undone, an exhibition of Chartwell Trust acquisitions selected and arranged by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o T›maki’s Acting Curator of Contemporary Art, Stephen Cleland. In this one video we are introduced to qualities that run throughout what I think is a beautiful exhibition:…

painting the multiverse

In Shane Cotton’s studio, in an outer suburb of Palmerston North, there is a drum-kit. For some reason, I keep thinking about it. Perhaps it is something to do with the fact that one of Shane’s ‘target’ paintings was on the wall behind it, so it reminded me of Julian Dashper. Or maybe it is somehow emblematic of the way Cotton works. He draws a whole lot of different things›ordinary and extraordinary things›into his pictorial worlds, and there they appear to exist together quite naturally. When we talked, it became clear that it is above all the process of transforming images› putting them into painted form›that inspires and fascinates Cotton. He frequently used variations on the word ’build’, as he described this process in refreshingly matter-of-fact terms. Edward Hanfling: We’re having…

surface calm

Most people know that the calm part of an ocean beach is the most dangerous. The deceptively tranquil surface of the water hides rips that may lure you to your death. Yet these glassy surfaces seem to offer an enticement for you to step into the sea. On either side, great spumes of waves thunder onto the sand. You avoid these as too dangerous. But you enter at your own risk that area of strange stillness. The work of Gavin Hurley seems to me to have this surface calm. There are no faces creased into shouts of terror or warning. Nobody wails, cringes or raises a fist in anger. Instead a curious tranquillity falls›the becalmed stasis that the voyagers in Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner experienced as an existential terror.…

in bloom

Whether you think him a gentle giant, driven by playful curiosity, a savvy commercial operator, turning out new takes on well-worn motifs, or an amalgam of both, Paul Dibble is one of New Zealand’s most prolific sculptors. With works occupying public places around the world from Palmerston North to London’s Hyde Park Corner, Dibble is a familiar art world fixture who is widely sought after by both private collectors and institutions and yet manages to retain a down-to-earth, self-effacing touch. For a humble Everyman of New Zealand art, Dibble has, all the same, attracted a fair degree of controversy. In a campaign against what was claimed to be an 'infestation' of poorly executed bronze sculptures throughout London, art historians, curators and editors including Burlington editor Richard Shone dismissed Southern Stand, as…

brand management

In one of the 1966 dialogues with Pierre Cabanne, Marcel Duchamp jokes about his inherent laziness: ‘I like living, breathing, better than working.‘ He continues the train of thought in a way that recalls Allan Kaprow’s interest in private moments constituting works: ‘Therefore, if you wish, my art would be that of living: each second, each breath is a work which is inscribed nowhere.‘ At the same time, Cabanne notes and the artist acknowledges, the ‘inscription’ of his own work, its collection and preservation, was Duchamp’s ‘constant preoccupation‘ He parodied his drive to intervene in its resale, for example, in the construction of his various ‘boxes’, including the large editions of Boîte en Valise (from 1941), miniaturised, self-curated retrospectives that beat the institutions to it, merchandising his back catalogue in…

songs from the hive

The jury is still out on whether or not the European honey bee will become extinct in the foreseeable future. Have we, through carelessness, greed and a lack of respect for the natural environment we inhabit, simply made this world too inhospitable for these creatures? Has the globalisation that we have so blithely embraced spread bee diseases and parasites past the point of no return? Anne Noble’s current work reads like an extended elegy for the demise of the bee. No Vertical Song, the exhibition she is preparing for Two Rooms in Auckland, is envisaged as a museum of artefacts from what may be a vanishing species. A set of vitrines will be installed, each containing identical greyish resin bees›solid, lustreless relics devoid of the colour, movement and sound that we…