Art New Zealand 2009 Ltd

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Art New Zealand Spring #163

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.

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Art New Zealand 2009 Ltd
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4 Issues


access_time9 min.
paul cullen (1949–2017)

Paul Cullen in Joshua Tree, Mohave Desert, January 2016, making work for his exhibition at Two Rooms, Provisional Arrangements (10 February–11 March 2017) (Photograph: Marie Shannon)In Xiaolu Guo’s film UFO In Her Eyes there is a delightful scene when the head of the village, Chief Chang, arranges small ceramic cups and a teapot on a tray in her office to show Kwok Yun, the female mine worker, how the earth and other planets move around the sun. It reminded me of the sequence at the beginning of Béla Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies, when János Valuska, the idiot savant town postman, guides some inebriated patrons of the local bar through a fumbled choreography of celestial bodies in motion, transforming the clumsy patrons into sun, moon, and earth to enact a solar eclipse.…

access_time18 min.

IAN SCOTT Sprayed Stripes and New Lattices at Michael Lett Lattice No. 225 2010, Lattice No. 201 2010, Soft Light 1974, Lattice No. 222 2011, Golden Light 2010 & Prism 1974 (Photograph: Alex North)IAN SCOTT Sprayed Stripes and New Lattices at Michael Lett Small Lattice No. 402 2009 & Lattice No. 244 (Last Lattice) 2012–2013 (Photograph: Alex North)AucklandIan Scott Sprayed Stripes and New LatticesMichael Lett, 17 May–17 JuneEDWARD HANFLINGIan Scott began the Sprayed Stripes series in 1973. He was in his late twenties, full of love for living. The paintings pulse with energy, audacity, inspiration, feelings for light and the environment, feelings for materials― the promise of an untouched canvas, the direct power of the spray can and the delicate diffusion of its marks.Scott started work on the New Lattices…

access_time18 min.
self and the world

Megan Jenkinson has been making photographs for four decades, images that are a mix of the cerebral, the haptic, the political and the personal. Discussing her career with the artist, Peter Ireland asked whether she had always been drawn to disrupting the conventions of so-called ‘straight’ photography. Megan Jenkinson: In the 1970s there was this prevailing notion of the straight photograph, which was typically black-and-white, documentary and uncropped; it would be technically perfect with a full range of tones, and a series of such images would all be the same size. To prove a photograph was uncropped the clear emulsion around the negative was printed as a black frame to ensure that what the photographer ‘saw’ when taking the photograph was unedited and transcribed into the finished print. Colour was…

access_time9 min.
shooting the waves

Nga Wahine Maori: Beyond the ‘Dusky Maiden’ at the Turnbull Gallery, June 2017 (Photograph: Mark Beatty)Tucked into the first-floor reading room of the National Library, the Turnbull Gallery has the area of a domestic living room. Here, well-crafted little exhibitions illuminate Aotearoa New Zealand’s history and culture. The modest space generates an intimacy often lacking in conventional museums, but it also creates design challenges.In Nga Wahine Maori: Beyond the ‘Dusky Maiden’, curators Ariana Tikao and Catherine Bisley attack the colonial-era cliché of the ‘dusky maiden’ by revealing Maori women―surprise, surprise―to be powerful and courageous agents. The exhibition comprises just four walls of images―primarily but not exclusively photographs―accompanied by substantial bilingual wall texts; a central island of vitrines; and two small audiovisual displays of vintage footage. A loop of gentle background…

access_time12 min.

in Pursuit of Venus [infected] 2015–17, Lisa Reihana: (Photograph: Michael Hall)Emissaries, Lisa Reihana’s project for the 2017 Venice Biennale, presents a new, final version of her video in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2015–17), bookended by large photographic portraits of two of the characters that appear in it: the shell-masked Chief Mourner of Tahiti, who greets us before we enter the projection space, and satin-draped British naturalist Joseph Banks, who farewells us out the far side. A small collection of historical optical devices is also installed in the anteroom, offering a sort of peepshow teaser of other stills. The venue is one of the former warehouse spaces in the Arsenale, part of a cluster housed there of some of the other 85 national pavilions that sit alongside one half of the…

access_time10 min.
des helmore

DES HELMORE Heap 2013 Acrylic on board 430 x 530 mm. (Private collection, Auckland)Des Helmore’s recent exhibition Extreme Suction at NKB Gallery took up a deliberately nonsense title, a wry nod to obtuse exhibition names in the art world. He cheerfully recalls the hope it would ‘suck people into the show’ (although any concerns on that front were needless). Helmore is not, it is fair to say, a well-known or prolific painter, but he has a keen following that includes senior art commentators and artists. Extreme Suction was his first solo exhibition since 2010, and an astute selection by gallerist James Brown of works dated from 2013 to 2016. Helmore’s paid employment as an illustrator of insects has earned him great praise in the science world, as ‘a highly talented…