Monday, December 15, 2014

Me time

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
Adam Art Gallery
Te Papa
City Gallery Wellington
Auckland Art Gallery
Christchurch Art Gallery
The Dowse Art Museum
The Suter Art Gallery
Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Via Jessica Johnson's Facebook page:

December 8 at 1:11pm · Houston, TX, United States ·

If anyone is interested. Here's the art trends that were evident in various combination over every booth at Art Basel Miami.

- inkjet prints on canvas using imagery sourced from the web
- decorative fabrics wrapped around stretcher bars and presented as paintings
- rainbow gradients
- compounds poured on canvas with airbrushed shadow effects
- simplistic emoticon imagery (palm trees, rainbows, clouds, smiley faces, etc)
- clumpy ceramics with sloppy glazes
- exposed stretcher bars
- dirt as a medium on canvas
- framed photographs without glass
- process abstraction
- metal as a surface for painting, screen prints, etc


What was absent;
- video art
- neons
- work with any political content (or any content that wasn't about process and/or materials)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Art purchases made by Te Papa last year (2013-14)

In a Shower of Gold by Gretchen Albrecht, 2011
Dromorne Rd – Putiki Street by Andrew Barber, 2012
Modern world, by L Budd, 1990
Daylight flotsam Venice by Bill Culbert, 2013
Drop by Bill Culbert, installation made from found furniture and fluorescent lights, 2013
Nana he horihori katoa, he wahi hoki te hau by Shona Rapira Davies, 2013
14.15 PRIVACY by Simon Denny, 2012
18.15 SUPER-EARTHS, by Simon Denny, 2012
Untitled (from the series Lounge Room Tribalism) by Graham Fletcher, 2010
Nature’s Adornment, Umbrella Buttress, Pink Terrace, Rotorua by Joseph Gaut, 1884
Breton Peasant by Frances Hodgkins, 1909-12
Portrait of Myra Lindauer Graham nee Partridge, Henry Partridge's daughter by Gottfried Lindauer, c.1880
3 watercolours by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, c.1785
9 works on paper from the Te Pakanga Series by Paratene Matchitt, 1974
Te Papa posters, no. 1 to no. 24, , by Andrew McLeod, 2013
A Fete at the Tuileries, by Adolphe Monticelli, 1856
Untitled - Maori forms, by Selwyn Muru, 1964
Thoughts, by H Linley Richardson, 1920
Defunct Mnemonics by Peter Robinson, 2012
Strategic Plan, by Peter Robinson,1996
5 works by Theo Schoon, 1946-1949
Follow the party of the whale by Shannon Te Ao, 2013
Introduccion a la Teoria de la Probabililidad by Michael Stevenson, 2008
After the bath, by Henry Tonks, 1910-1911
Untitled, by Jake Walker, 2013-2014
Untitled (Athfield ceramic objects), by Jake Walker, 2013- 14
Gleanings from the workshop of the unknown – timeline by Robin White, , 2013
Postcard from Pleasant Island by Robin White, linocut prints on paper, 1989
What Do You Say Savages by Wayne Youle, 2010
The Paris family by Toss Woollaston,1977-9

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Responses on Hotere damage

Questions & Answers

Q: is this the actual Hotere or a print/copy?
A: Its the real thing. Its not a print or copy
Q: Is this piece damaged, or is it just the frame?
A: Hi, the work itself is damaged unfortunately, the glass pane is an integral part of the work. Thanks
Q: Live out of town so unable to view. Can you please advise is the gold leaf and dust actually ON the glass and not underneath the glass? Restoring the work would need more than replacing the broken glass? Thank you for clarification.   
A: Hi, the gold leaf is on the glass pane, you couldn't restore this work without removing and repainting the entire pane, which would probably less desirable than just living with the crack. Its still a Hotere after all. Thanks
Q: Its an absolute tragedy such a wonderful wonderful piece of art has essentially been destroyed. Very sad.
A: Its sad that its been damaged, but the essence of the work is still there and in the long run I guess it will just be part of this works story.
Q:  Is the glass cracked or the painting itself? Is it repairable? How much for shipping to Clyde?
A: Hi, the glass is an integral part of the work and probably can't be replaced without removing much of the original work, you'd probably be better off just to live with the crack as part of the story of this work. You will need to organise your own shipping with this one due to it's extremely fragile nature. I recommend you call around some of the specialist fragile freight providers like pack and send. Thanks

Q: Is the glass painted or does it cover the actual painting? Cheers
A: The glass itself is painted. Thanks
Q: Is the work underneath damaged or just the frame/glass? Why was it not simply repaired, it is after all a $58,000 work?
A: The glass surface is an integral part of the work. Repairing it would remove a large part of the original and you're probably better off just living with the crack. Thanks
Q: is the glass the only damage?
A: Hi, the glass is the only damage but is an integral part of the work, the gold is directly painted onto it. Thanks

Q: "Lo Negro Sobre Lo Oro" doesn't mean "What about the black gold". It's closer to "the black on top of gold" but it's hard to say because it doesn't actually make sense as written.
A: Hi, it seems to be the translation most frequently mentioned on the internet, see:

Q: the buyer must have been guttered, was it Insured?
A: Yes, it's an insurance claim. Thanks

Q: If I were to win the auction, would it be possible to ship it to Auckland without it suffering further damage? Generally you would tape the glass, but this would destroy the paint, so just wondering how confident you'd be in shipping it as it is.
A: Hi, you will need organise your own fragile freight provider for this one sorry.

Q: If Hotere had broken the glass it would be art..thats modern art for u...
A: It's still a Hotere after all, and he's not making them any more.

Q: As I've seen this work in Port Chalmers, it is brilliant. It would be nice if a museum bought it and displayed it as is.
A: I'm sure it will go to a great home where it will be appreciated.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Roundel quiz answers

Top to bottom left to right: Belgium, Greece, Spain, Egypt, India, Paraguay, Italy, Bulgaria, Slovinia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Afghan, England, Finland and Iran

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Who made an art work that is -
“Monumental and extremely important” L Budd
“Highly revered” Colin McCahon
“Irritating, strange yet very familiar” Peter Stichbury
“Profoundly important” Bill Hammond
“A subtle political statement that urges its audience to look past the smooth veneers of the modern world” L Budd
“Approachable yet cryptic” Seraphine Pick
“An intense cocktail of vivid colours” Jeffrey Harris
“About the communicative potential of the creative act” Ralph Hotere

Whose painting has
“An idyllic eloquent tranquility” Don Binney
“A strong sense of the transcendent” Colin McCahon
“A fresh and improvisational feeling” Colin McCahon
“A newfound understanding of the gravity and implications of the human gesture” Colin McCahon
“An eerie yet beguiling quality” Grahame Sydney

Who created -
“A career defining masterpiece” Dick Frizzell
“A deeply enigmatic work” Michael Parekowhai

Who has -
“A profound but highly personal perspective” Pat Hanly
“Inherent spirituality” Ralph Hotere

Who is -
 “One of New Zealand’s most voracious appropriators” Dick Frizzell
“Inviting the viewer to gaze upon he façade of a world driven by industrial production” Don Driver
“Creating imagery in which slight of hand is incorporated into the artistic process” Shane Cotton

Friday, March 21, 2014

Here you go

 “Masterly executed work” – W D Hammond
 “Chromatic master” – Tony Fomison
 “powerful influence on a generation of painters” – Robin White
 “unbridled passion for the female form” – Pat Hanly
 “A monumental masterpiece” – Garth Tapper
 “key work” in a “Ground-breaking exhibition” – et al.
 “Most daring and cerebral” – Judy Millar
 “Seminal 2005 exhibition” – Francis Upritchard
 “A gem” – C F Goldie
 “Majestic poise” – Frances Hodgkins
 “Unforgettable paintings” – Tony Fomison (again)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Walters Prize list

Auckland Art Gallery
 Media release: 18  March, 2014


Finalists announced for the Walters Prize 2014: New Zealand’s premier contemporary art prize

The four artworks shortlisted for the Walters Prize 2014, New Zealand’s most significant contemporary art prize, are announced today.

The $50,000 Walters Prize, named after the late New Zealand artist Gordon Walters, is awarded for an outstanding work of contemporary New Zealand art produced and exhibited during the past two years. The biannual Walters Prize sets out to make contemporary art a more widely recognised and debated feature of our cultural life. Previous Prizes have been awarded to works by artists including Kate Newby, Dan Arps, Peter Robinson, Francis Upritchard, et al. and Yvonne Todd.

Each artist whose work is shortlisted receives $5,000 in recognition of their achievement, thanks to major donor Dayle Mace. Their work is presented in the Walters Prize exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki 12 July – 12 October 2014.

The four shortlisted artworks are:

All You Need Is Data—The DLD 2012 Conference REDUX, 2013, by Simon Denny: at Kunstverein Munich 19 January – 10 March 2013 and at Petzel Gallery, New York, 20 June – 27 July 2013
If you find the good oil let us know, 2012 – 2013, by Maddie Leach: at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and off-site 25 June 2012 – 14 February 2014
inthisholeonthisislandwhereiam, 2012, by Luke Willis Thompson: at Hopkinson Mossman (formerly Hopkinson Cundy) and off-site 14 – 31 March 2012
Mo'ui tukuhausia, 2012, by Kalisolaite ‘Uhila: from the exhibition What do you mean, we? at Te Tuhi Center for the Arts, 3 March 2012 – 6 May 2012.

The winning work will be chosen by an international judge – named later this year – and announced at the Walters Prize Dinner in September. In addition to the $50,000 prize, the winning artist receives a fully supported trip to New York with the opportunity to exhibit at Saatchi & Saatchi’s world headquarters.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki Director, Rhana Devenport, says, ‘Each Walters Prize exhibition has offered a powerful insight into current art practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. The project engages a wide community of individuals, companies and trusts who are dedicated to sharing a deeper understanding of our world through contemporary art.

‘The project is also collaborative in its sharing of the selection process amongst leading New Zealand curators, and the invitation to an international judge to finally select the Prize. Discussion at every level is paramount in this process.

‘This year's selection of artists is a particularly interesting one with performance, interventions and actions to the fore, ranging from letters to the editor and maritime ventures to online worlds and home-visits. The reconfiguration of the works within the context of the Gallery will hold surprises for us all. Importantly these works will offer us an immediate view into some of the most intriguing explorations of New Zealand art practice occurring today.'

The jurors for the 2014 Walters Prize are:

Christina Barton – Director of the Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington
Anna-Marie White – Curator at The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū, Nelson
Peter Robinson – Artist and Associate Professor at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland
Caterina Riva – Curator and the Director of Artspace NZ, Auckland

The Walters Prize was established in 2002 by founding benefactors and principal donors Erika and Robin Congreve and Dame Jenny Gibbs, working together with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. This year Elevation Capital joins as a new sponsor.


In determining the most outstanding contribution to New Zealand art since the last Walters’ Prize, the jurors have selected four artists who have undertaken memorable projects that prove art’s traction as a means to engage the social, economic, cultural, technological, and environmental realities we collectively face. Each project demonstrates a conceptual grasp of the legacies of art’s recent history and a commitment to modes of presentation that challenge expectations and shift attention away from objects to processes and situations. They are all willing to test the boundaries of self and society and to question just where art begins and ends. We believe these artists’ practices raise issues that are relevant to our lives, and that they are vitally contributing to and advancing discussions about the nature of art at this time.


Simon Denny
Born 1982 in Auckland, New Zealand
Lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand and Berlin, Germany
Städelschule, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt am Main 2009

Nominated for All You Need Is Data - The DLD 2012 Conference REDUX, 2013

Jurors’ comment: In the two years since Simon Denny was a finalist in the last Walters Prize, he has undertaken a string of substantial exhibitions that prove his original contribution to what has come to be known as ‘post-internet aesthetics’. Denny’s All You Need Is Data - The DLD 2012 Conference REDUX, which was presented in Munich and New York in 2013, is a clever visualisation and subtle critique of the hyped-up promises offered by the tech gurus of our digital future. Re-using the aesthetics of the Digital Life Design (DLD) media conference, Denny creates a walk-through sculptural installation that proves just how ‘thin’ a sound byte actually is.

Maddie Leach
Born 1970, Auckland, New Zealand
Lives and works in Wellington, New Zealand
MFA University of Canterbury, Christchurch 2000
BFA (Hons) Sculpture, University of Canterbury 1993

Nominated for If you find the good oil let us know 2012-2013

Jurors’ comment: Maddie Leach’s intensive but dispersed project, If you find the good oil, let us know, commissioned by the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery as its last artist-residency before the gallery closed for major renovations, has slowly unravelled over the full two years of the 2014 Walters’ Prize period. Her work follows an idiosyncratic thread that started with a substance Leach thought might be real whale oil and ended with the relocation of a cube of cement made from recycled mineral oil to the seabed several kilometres off the coast. Through this lengthy peregrination Leach managed to draw in scientists, cement workers, sailors, oil-industry executives, the editor of the local paper, staff of the gallery, a dispersed group of writers, and the people of New Plymouth. This is typical of the artist’s practice, which arises out of a particular circumstance and is shaped by a lengthy process of embedded enquiry and social interaction.

Luke Willis Thompson
Born 1988, Auckland, New Zealand
Lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand
Städelschule, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (Guest Student, Prof. Willem de Rooij) 2013
MFA Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland 2010
BFA Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland 2009

Nominated for inthisholeonthisislandwhereiam 2012

Jurors’ comment: Luke Willis Thompson's bold project for Hopkinson Cundy (now Hopkinson Mossman) deeply shook the set parameters of how art is traditionally experienced and challenged any passive notion of spectatorship. To find the artwork, visitors had to take a taxi stationed at the empty gallery and, with a palpable sense of unease, set off to an unknown destination, with only the tentative conversation with the driver to break the tense sense of expectation. Arriving at a suburban house, visitors were invited to enter and wander around but not to enter into the bedrooms. With no people inside, yet signs of habitation everywhere, visitors only gradually came to realize - through closer inspection of school projects, books, and photographs - this was the artist’s family home. In such an audacious situation, the boundaries of exclusion and inclusion, intimacy and voyeurism were completely blurred; the project demanded we consider anew concepts of intentionality, the location of art and how to ascribe meaning or determine value.

Kalisolaite ‘Uhila
Born 1981, Tonga
Lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand
BVA, AUT University, Auckland 2010

Nominated for: Mo'ui tukuhausia, 2012

Jurors’ comment: In March 2012, Kalisolaite Uhila lived homeless for a two-week period in the vicinity of Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Pakuranga.  The artist intended this as a consciousness-raising exercise drawing attention to the state of homelessness.  He was successful in his ambition and the artwork was the subject of intense scrutiny by locals, police, and national news media.  Undertaken at the start of the Walters’ Prize period, this subject has only grown in importance, as homelessness, amongst Polynesian men in particular, has emerged as a pressing issue in Auckland and other urban centres.

As a Tongan-born artist, ’Uhila is broadly concerned with the idealisation of Aotearoa New Zealand as a land of opportunity compared with a reality of minimum-wage factory and seasonal labour.  His body of endurance performance artworks undermines these utopian values and holds New Zealand to account for attracting Pacific migrants to support a low-wage, manual-labour strata of the economy. His work speaks vividly to the vulnerable conditions of life for a social underclass in this country.


Named in honour of the late New Zealand artist Gordon Walters, the prize was established in 2002 by founding benefactors and principal donors Erika and Robin Congreve and Dame Jenny Gibbs, working together with Auckland Art Gallery. The Prize sets out to make contemporary art a more widely recognised and debated feature of our cultural life.

Previous winners of the Walters Prize:

2012: Kate Newby for Crawl out your window
2010: Dan Arps for Explaining Things
2008: Peter Robinson for ACK
2006: Francis Upritchard for Doomed, Doomed, All Doomed
2004: et al. for restricted access
2002: Yvonne Todd for Asthma and Eczema

The 2014 Walters Prize Exhibition runs from 12 July – 12 October 2014 and entry is free.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

And then there were 32

26 February 2014

We are five of the 37 artists – Libia Castro, Ólafur Ólafsson, Charlie Sofo, Gabrielle de Vietri and Ahmet Öğüt – who signed a letter to the Board of the Biennale of Sydney in relation to their founding sponsor, Transfield.

We make this statement in light of Transfield’s expanding management of Manus Island and Nauru immigration detention centres. We act in the wake of the death of Reza Berati from inside Manus Island detention centre on February 17. We are in urgent political circumstances with a government that is stepping up their warfare on the world’s most vulnerable people daily.

We have received indications from the Board of the Biennale and Transfield that there will be no movement on their involvement in this issue. In our letter to the Board we asked for action and engagement, but we are told that the issue is too complex, and that the financial agreements are too important to re-negotiate.

And so we make this statement from a critical juncture of political urgency and artistic autonomy.

This is a statement of our withdrawal from the 19th Biennale of Sydney.

We have revoked our works, cancelled our public events and relinquished our artists’ fees. While we have sought ways to address our strong opposition to Australia’s mandatory detention policy as participants of the Biennale, we have decided that withdrawal is our most constructive choice. We do not accept the platform that Transfield provides via the Biennale for critique. We see our participation in the Biennale as an active link in a chain of associations that leads to the abuse of human rights. For us, this is undeniable and indefensible.

Our withdrawal is one action in a multiplicity of others, already enacted and soon to be carried out in and around the Biennale. We do not propose to know the exact ethical, strategic or effective action to end mandatory detention, but we act on conscience and we act with hope.

We have chosen to redirect our energies into multiple forms of action: discussions, workshops, publications, exhibitions and works that will continue to fuel this debate in the public sphere. In this, we stand with our local and international communities that are calling for the closure of Australia’s offshore detention facilities. We ask for their active support in keeping this issue at the forefront of our minds, in the warmest part of our hearts, in the most urgent of discussions and in the most bold of actions, until the detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru close.

We withdraw to send a message to the Biennale urging them, again, to act ethically and transparently. To send a message to Transfield that we will not add value to their brand and its inhumane enterprise. Finally, and most importantly, we withdraw to send a message to the Australian Government that we do not accept their unethical policy against asylum seekers.

We ask that the Biennale of Sydney acknowledge the absence of our work from the exhibition. As the Biennale has offered to provide a platform and support for our dissent, we request that our withdrawal be registered on the Biennale website and signposted at the physical site of our projects. In the pervasive silence that the Government enforces around this issue, we will not let this action be unnoticed.

We act in solidarity with all those who are working towards a better future for asylum seekers. We hope that others will join us.

Libia Castro
Ólafur Ólafsson
Charlie Sofo
Gabrielle de Vietri
Ahmet Öğüt

Response from the Biennale of Sydney Board to the artists’ open letter

Firstly, let us say that we truly empathise with the artists in this situation. Like them, we are inadvertently caught somewhere between ideology and principle. Both parties are ‘collateral damage’ in a complex argument. Neither wants to see human suffering. Artists must make a decision according to their own understanding and beliefs. We respect their right to do so. While being mindful of these valid concerns, it is this Board’s duty to act in the interests of the Biennale and all its stakeholders – our audiences, government partners, staff, benefactors and sponsors, along with all Biennale artists and the broader arts sector. On the one hand, there are assertions and allegations that are open to debate. On the other, we have a long-term history of selfless philanthropy, which has been the foundation of an event that has served the arts and wider community for the past 40 years. The Biennale’s ability to effectively contribute to the cessation of bi-partisan government policy is far from black and white. The only certainty is that without our Founding Partner, the Biennale will no longer exist. Consequently, we unanimously believe that our loyalty to the Belgiorno-Nettis family – and the hundreds of thousands of people who benefit from the Biennale – must override claims over which there is ambiguity. While we unequivocally state our support and gratitude for our sponsor’s continued patronage, we also extend an invitation to the Working Group to engage with us in dialogue with the purpose of finding an acceptable accommodation. The Biennale has long been a platform for artists to air their sometimes challenging but important views unfettered and we would like to explore this avenue of expression, rather than see the demise of an important cultural asset.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The name game

Top left Anthony Quinn Mayan beauty and top right Peter Falk Girl in blue blouse. Second row left, Tony Bennett San Francisco cable car and right, Bob Dylan Motel pool. Third row, David Bowie (with Beezy Bailey) From Nahodka westward by train. Bottom left, Marilyn Manson The path of misery and right, Sly Stallone Superman