GOW LANGSFORD GALLERY 2014 SPRING CATALOGUE
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Judy Millar Solomon (bronze/pink) (detail), 2014 #22, p64-5
JOHN GOW AND GARY LANGSFORD INVITE YOU TO JOIN US AT THE PREVIEW OF OUR
SPRING CATALOGUE 2014 IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE LAUNCH OF OUR NEW WEBSITE
TUESDAY 14TH OCTOBER, 6-8PM
EXHIBITION DATES 15th October - 8th November 2014
LOCATION 26 Lorne Street, Auckland
GOW LANGSFORD GALLERY
26 LORNE ST / CNR KITCHENER ST & WELLESLEY ST AUCKLAND NZ PO BOX 5461 T: +64 9 303 4290 WWW.GOWLANGSFORDGALLERY.CO.NZ
Gary Langsford: An Introduction
In the twelve months since last year’s Spring Catalogue the Gallery seems to have been busier than ever. Along with our exhibition schedule for the two gallery spaces in Auckland, in September 2013 we participated in the inaugural Sydney Contemporary - Australia’s new international art fair. The Gallery exhibited an eclectic mix of New Zealand and international artists including Damien Hirst’s Transportation, a classic butterfly painting from 2008. In November, I was invited by Eugenio Lopez to the opening of the new Jumex Foundation Museum in Mexico City. In my thirty-plus years in the art world this would have to be one of the most spectacular events I have attended. The 43,000 square foot David Chipperfield-designed museum and the artworks within were only part of the spectacle. The dinner for 800 on the Friday night and the party for 2000 on the Saturday night were extraordinary in every respect. Should you find yourself in Mexico City a visit to this museum is a must!
Earlier this year, in April, I visited the studio of Max Gimblett in New York to select works for his exhibition at our Lorne street gallery in May/June and also to select the works for New York-based New Zealand photographer Jono Rotman’s first exhibition at Gow Langsford Gallery. This exhibition of large-scale images of the Mongrel Mob elicited some of the strongest responses to an exhibition we have witnessed in the Gallery’s 26-year history. As a result of the media attention around these works this exhibition became one of the most well
Gary Langsford outside the Jumex Foundation, Mexico, 2013
attended in the history of the Gallery, only rivalled by the Picasso exhibition in 1998. Picasso versus the Mongrel Mob – who would have thought? This year we also welcome to the Gallery artists Graham Fletcher, Richard Lewer and Jono Rotman. We hope you enjoy this year’s catalogue which features a new format and a slight shift in focus which will provide an insight into the workings of the Gallery and its staff as well as the usual focus on significant and important local and international artworks.
Right: Jono Rotman, Installation view at Lorne Street, 2014
Event at David McCracken’s studio, Parnell 2014
John Gow: An Introduction
The year since our last catalogue has been extremely active. Business has left behind the remains of the Global Financial Crisis and has developed a natural rhythm that is keeping the team at Gow Langsford well occupied. We were sad to say goodbye to Sarah Maloney who ran the Front of House at Kitchener Street. She has returned to the UK after two stints with the Gallery, and her charming English accent and efficient ways will be missed. However when one door shuts…..we welcome Priya Patel who has taken over this role. I was just saying to her that I can’t recall a more seamless transition of staff. Welcome Priya. Amie, our gallery manager has just returned from a trip to New York which included a visit to the Gimblett studio. We also welcome Anna back for three days a week post her maternity leave - it’s great to have you back Anna. Hannah fills Lorne Street with great energy and continues to do an outstanding job while out the back in accounts, Gail our longest serving staff member (20 years this year) is on extended leave in Europe before Shona, our accountant, takes maternity leave. Let’s hope we get the timing right ladies… Our exhibition schedule was as busy as ever with openings in both galleries every month along with some special events. Judy Millar gave a thank you dinner in her new studio space in Henderson. She cooked for 80 people with the help of some of the old Five Columns team. It was an extraordinary night, surrounded by great art, wonderful banqueting tables, great company and beautiful food. Judy gave a speech thanking all those who have supported her in her career which has touched so many different people. Thank you Judy. We also organised a great event at Dave McCracken’s studio in Parnell. Dave has been put on notice that his unique studio environment in the heart of Parnell is soon to be sold and developed. With this in mind we invited our clients and friends to come and experience Dave’s studio and look at the works in the creator’s environ-
ment. The weather gods obliged and we had a beaut sunny day and a very good crowd attended. Multiple sales were made and I believe everyone very much enjoyed seeing the place Dave has worked in for the past 20 years. I had a trip to John Pule’s place of birth, Niue. The Niue government had their inaugural art festival and John was the focal point of this. The exhibition involved much ceremony, and the festival encapsulated many of the island’s traditional art forms as well as the contemporary practice of the likes of John’s work. We visited his village, Liku, and the place of his old family home. It is an island like no other and exploring it with John was special. To continue the island theme I was invited to Rarotonga as a guest speaker for the BCA Gallery auction. I have visited Rarotonga many times so it was a very social few days culminating the auction event. Ben Bergman does a very professional job in running the gallery in what has to be described as a challenging market. Thank you Ben and Luke for being such wonderful hosts and to the rest of the island for such a memorable visit. In contrast to this I had a trip to the UK to research two very important paintings. I am still working on these works but the trip was made quite special with my visit to Professor Nicholas Thomas, Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University. Nicholas gave me a private tour of the museum complete with artefacts collected by Cook and then took me to Trinity House for lunch. This was another unique life experience. I hope you enjoy the new format Gow Langsford Spring Catalogue. Do come and view the works. I have enjoyed working with all our artists over the past twelve months and look forward to the year ahead. Left: Dinner at Judy Millar’s new studio, 2014. Image courtesy of Judy Millar
RECENT GLOBAL ACTIVITY Our Artists have been busy on the international stage in the past year. Here is a selected overview of international exhibitions, residencies, Art Fairs and installations.
~Future Primitive, 2013, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Australia, (group exhibition) ~Seventh Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, 2012, Queensland Art Gallery - Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (group exhibition)
DARRYN GEORGE ~The Folder Room, 2013, Palazzo Bembo, Venice Biennale ANTHONY GOICOLEA
~UNTITLED, 2014, Gallery Ron Mandos, Miami Basel, USA (Art Fair) 14
~Galerie Crone, 2014, Berlin, Germany (upcoming solo exhibition) ~Magical Realism, 2014, Gallerie Paris, Brussels (solo exhibition) KATHARINA GROSSE
~psychylustro - The Warehouse, 2014, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia, USA (outdoor installation)
~Wer, Ich? Wen, Du? (Who, I? Whom, You?), 2014, Kunsthaus Graz, Austria (indoor installation) ~Die Ball, 2014, Galerie Mark Müller, Zurich, Switzerland (solo exhibition)
HYE RIM LEE
~Feel Life, Summer Art Festival, 2014, KATESHIN New York, New York (group exhibition) ~Double Mirror, American University Museum, Katzen Arts Center, Washington DC, USA (group exhibition) ~Prism, Nam Jun Paik and New Media Art, Gyeongnam Art Museum, Korea (group exhibition)
~Friendly Takeover, 2014, MARTA Herford, Herford, Germany (group exhibition) ~Be Do Be Do Be Do, 2013, IMA, Brisbane, Australia (solo exhibition) ~Images for Tichy – Tichy for Images, 2013, GASK, Bohemia, Czech Republic (group exhibition)
~Landscape Painting: Contemporary Video from Australasia, curated by Mark Feary, One and J. Gallery, Seoul, Korea (group exhibition) ~F.I.E.L.D.S, 2013, SasaBassac Gallery Cambodia and St Paul St Gallery, Auckland, curated by Erin Gleeson and Vera Mey (residency)
REUBEN PATERSON ~Earth, Wind and Fire, 2013, Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne, Australia (solo exhibition) ~The Asia Foundation Artist in Residence, 2014, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Studios, Goyang, South Korea (residency) ~The Asia Foundation Artist in Residence, 2014, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Studios, Goyang, South Korea (residency) ~Seek to Yield to Find, 2013 - 14, Brisbane City Council Vibrant Laneways, Edison Lane, Brisbane (solo exhibition)
~Hypothèse du point, 2014, Espace Jacques Villeglé de Saint Gratien, Saint Gratien, France (outdoor installation) ~Bernar Venet: Paintings. Homage to Al-Khawarizmi, Abbazia di San Gregorio, Venice, Italy (solo exhibition) ~Ace Gallery, 2013, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California (solo exhibitions) ~Bernar Venet: L’hypothèse de l’arc, 2014, von Bartha Garage, Basel, Switzerland (Art Fair) ~84 Arcs / Désordre, 2013, jardins du Palais du Pharo, Marseille, France (outdoor installation) ~Inauguration of Venet Foundation, 2014, Le Muy, France
1 FRANCES HODGKINS 1969-1947, NZ/UK The Farm Pond, 1943 gouache on paper 470 x 665mm / 925 x 1100mm framed signed and dated lower right PROVENANCE Purchased Krane Calman Gallery, London, 1967 Peter Millard collection. McArthur and Co. Fine Art Auction, Auckland, 1983. Private collection, Auckland. Private collection, San Francisco, USA EXHIBITED Frances Hodgkins 1869-1947: A Centenary, Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, travelling exhibition, 1969 ILLUSTRATED Bensemann, L and Brooke, B. Ascent: A Journal of Arts in New Zealand, Caxton Press, 1969. P. 72 Frances Hodgkins 1869-1947: A Centenary, Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council exhibition catalogue p. 93
New Zealand-born artist Frances Hodgkins spent most of her working life in the UK where she came to be regarded as one of the key figures in British Modernism. Although Hodgkins was known in the 1930s, it was not until after the outbreak of war that she received critical recognition. Her works became highly sought-after following the success of her April 1940 exhibition and her small gouache landscapes, which are the distinctive works of Hodgkins’ final period, were particularly popular. One such work, The Farm Pond depicts a charming English farm scene - in Denham, Buckinghamshire. Hodgkins was very fond of the countryside and farm life, and scenes such as The Farm Pond provided her with ample inspiration for her painting. In 1903 she wrote to her mother: ‘It’s my idea of heaven to live on a farm & wake up at sunrise with cows & calves & sheep & pigs & ducks and geese & turkeys, all crying out to be fed – tho’ probably I should be more interested in painting them than feeding them…’ (Frances Hodgkins: Femme du monde, Johnston, A, p.106) The Farm Pond emits a sense of tranquility but there is also life and movement -with geese fluttering in a pond, horses tossing their manes and homely-looking farm buildings in the background. It is painted in the fluid style that became so characteristic of her later works and, together with the subject matter and earthy colour palette, the viewer is able to sense the gentle pulse of country living within it. Peter Millard, the original owner of this painting, was a patron and great supporter of Frances Hodgkins.
2 TONY FOMISON 1939-1990, NZ “The Risen Christ Appearing to Three Senators” by Tintoretto, 1967 oil on hessian backed with cloth 508 x 813mm titled lower centre, signed, dated and inscribed: A Fomison Banstead Hosp lower right PROVENANCE Private collection, Wellington. Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington EXHIBITED Tony Fomison: A Portrait, Gow Langsford Gallery 2013
Having spent a turbulent three years in Europe and Britain during the mid-1960s, Tony Fomison returned to Aotearoa in 1967, a victim to a debilitating drug addiction. This transitional time in Fomison’s life and career was, perhaps, akin to that of a reincarnation – a bringing of new life, and opportunity, to a man whose past had been crippled with personal struggle. His 1967 oil painting on canvas, “The Risen Christ Appearing to Three Senators” by Tintoretto, a narrative depiction of Christ’s resurrection, surely touches on the baptismal quality of renewal which Fomison enacted by returning to his motherland, New Zealand. Besides, or complementary to, the more personal, psychological parallels which can be read in this painting, Fomison makes direct artistic reference to a Venetian Renaissance work, The Risen Christ Appearing to Three Senators, by 16th century artist Jacopo Tintoretto. As well as adopting the Italian original’s title, Fomison’s canvas makes use of an almost identical composition, except for the loss of a single plump, bearded aristocrat. By removing this figure from the picture space, the scene takes on a more intimate characteristic, slightly intensifying the atmosphere, only magnified by the eerie, soulless gaze of the anonymous senators (who are clearly more interested in us than in Christ’s miraculous appearance), and brooding charcoal cloud occupying the earthly realm to the left. Christ, on the other hand, punctures the scalloped central axis with an extended gesture of benediction; simultaneously repelling the darkness which, one can only assume, once devoured the entire frame. The exposed, burnt-ochre torso of Jesus glows in contrasting harmony to the rich, teal backdrop behind the risen Christ. Swathed in white linen, He symbolises the purity and grace apparently so strongly in opposition to the sinister palette of faceless legislature. We, the viewers, can only hope that our fate is not the same as the lost member of the trio.
Overleaf: “The Risen Christ Appearing to Three Senators” by Tintoretto, 1967
3 RICHARD KILLEEN b. 1946, NZ Living and Dying, 1979 acrylic lacquer on 1.2mm aluminum 17 pieces, dimensions variable signed and inscribed verso on each piece: Living and Dying, October 1979 PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
The first cut-out, Across the Pacific, came in 1978, one year before Living and Dying, and heralded Richard Killeen as one of the most inventive and forward-thinking artists of his generation. The very size of the cut-outs, their bold colour and the fact they were frameless, moveable and mounted directly on a gallery wall were all revolutionary. Although the first cut-outs were exhibited in 1978 there had been precursors earlier in the decade, primarily in 1972-3 when Killeen stenciled patterns onto unstretched canvas. At the time he is said to have explained that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d thought of stenciling directly onto a gallery wall but, rationalizing that you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sell a wall, decided it made more practical sense to mount them on canvas. Without this realism the concept of cut-outs would have come some time earlier. Next, in 1977, a series of insect, bird and butterfly stencils on aluminium cut-outs was created, but never exhibited. As a result of these earlier experiments, the idea of freeing an artwork from its frame and displaying symbols and cut-outs as stand-alone items had been a work in progress for almost a decade before being exhibited publicly. Giving an artwork, and its owner, such free rein was a new concept and the individual cut-outs were presented in a box with simple directions on hanging but none on placement or hierarchy of the pieces. The set came simply with one instruction: that the individual pieces were to hang independently and not overlap in any way - each was to retain its own identity. >
A significant shift is made from Killeen’s iconic Living and Dying cut-out to his work of a decade later, Soft Bodied Animals no. 800 (overleaf). Soft Bodied Animals no. 800 is created from acrylic and collage on polystyrene and presents a look that is a polar opposite to the glossy, smooth finish of the painted aluminum cut-outs. In contrast to the monochromatic black, white and red works, Soft Bodied Animals employs a vastly more varied palette, incorporating pastel colours as well as vivid blues, yellows and reds. The artwork itself is unusual in shape and busy in motif with symbolism shown alongside discrete abstractions, every area of the surface covered. Moving in full circle since the simplified cut-outs this new work confronts the viewer with the business of its collage, creating an almost quilt-like effect. Again, as with the precursors to the cut-outs, just prior to producing his first collage works, Killeen’s production took on a more graphic and printed look. Creating images and graphics using pioneering computer design programmes such as Super Paint, Killeen would print them out and attach them to the painting’s surface. Though this practice, his first collages were created. Richard Killeen was educated at the Elam School of Fine Arts, where his lecturers included Colin McCahon, before graduating in 1966. He has won a number of awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council Fellowship, and has been the subject of several major exhibitions.
4 RICHARD KILLEEN Soft bodied Animals no. 800, 1988 acrylic alkyd collage (computer printed tissue) on polystyrene 1210 x 1300mm title, signed and dated lower right label attached verso: Richard Killeen, 41 King George Ave, Auckland, New Zealand / No: 800 / Title: Soft bodied animals / Date: Feb 8, 1988 / Medium: Acrylic and collage on polystyrene / Size: 1210mm x 1300mm PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
5 ALLEN MADDOX 1948-2000, NZ Untitled, no date oil on canvas triptych 515 x 405mm each 560 x 455mm each framed PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
GARY PONDERS ON THE YEARS SINCE ALLEN PASSED It is hard to believe that Allen passed away almost fifteen years ago. It is a privilege and a pleasure to be able to offer this small collection of works, many from Allen’s Estate, in this year’s Spring Catalogue. On seeing these works again after some years I was not surprised they still retain the exuberance and expressiveness they conveyed to the viewer at the time they were painted. The freshness of colour and the freedom of gesture in these works confirm Allen’s position as New Zealand’s most important abstract expressionist. Some are rhythmic and lyrical and recall the background music I would often hear in my many phone conversations with Allen while he was painting in his studio in Napier. One can ‘see’ passages of jazz music or a Jimi Hendrix ballad in these totally abstract works. We have continued to exhibit works by Allen since his passing and many have appeared at auction and in public gallery exhibitions over the last fifteen years. Recently, a work exhibited at the inaugural opening of Gow Langsford Gallery in Richmond Road, Grey Lynn in 1987 (Rhythm Grid, 1976, see image overleaf) was sold at auction by Art + Object for $65,000 and another work (Wanker, 1975) also painted in the same year and from the collection of Les and Milly Paris, was sold by Art + Object to Te Papa Tongarewa, the national museum of New Zealand, for $87,900.
Gary’s Obituary for Allen Maddox in the Sunday Star Times, August 27, 2000
Earlier this year the Auckland Art Gallery acquired Allen’s largest painting, Charlie Horse Rides Again painted in 1997. Allen would have been delighted, if somewhat bemused by the belated interest in his work.
Overleaf: Untitled (detail), no date
6 ALLEN MADDOX Untitled, c. 1976 Acrylic on jute 910 x 1870mm PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland Marilou and Allen Maddox, Napier, July 2000. Photograph courtesy of Richard McWhannell
7 Untitled, c.1992 oil & acrylic on cotton 830 x 630mm PROVENANCE The Estate of Allen Maddox
8 Untitled, 1990 oil on canvas 700 x 900mm PROVENANCE The Estate of Allen Maddox
9 Untitled, c.1978 oil on canvas 900 x 1350 mm PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
Opening of Gow Langsford Gallery, 1987. Les South, Bev Gow and John Gow featured with Rhythm Grid, 1976
10 ALLEN MADDOX Untitled, 1978 acrylic on canvas laid onto canvas 555 x 555mm PROVENANCE The Estate of Allen Maddox
“The freshness of colour and the freedom of gesture in these works confirm Allen’s position as New Zealand’s most important abstract expressionist.” GARY LANGSFORD, 2014
11 ALLEN MADDOX Untitled, no date oil on hessian 1800 x 1780mm PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
12 MAX GIMBLETT b.1938, NZ/USA Step by Step, 1992 acrylic polymer on canvas and swiss gold on wood panel 1245 x 1245mm ziggurat titled, signed and dated verso PROVENANCE Collection of the artist Max Gimblett’s studio, New York. Image courtesy of John Savage
AMIE HAMMOND’S VISIT TO MAX GIMBLETT’S STUDIO JUNE 2014 I’ve worked with the Gimblett team over email since starting work at Gow Langsford in 2010 and although I’ve met Max several times (along with assistants Gio and Kristen), I‘d never met Max’s studio manager Matt, nor had an opportunity to visit the location of the creation of the quatrefoil and other Gimblett masterworks. Needless to say, it was time for a “fieldtrip”. I was fortunate enough to already be heading to the States on a whistle-stop tour of the bright lights/big cities, so naturally made sure the Gimblett studio was on the itinerary. Long fascinated by the artistic history and diversity of New York, but never having visited, I made my way to the Bowery to lay eyes on Gimblett HQ. It doesn’t take much to impress someone finally visiting a city they’ve long been inspired by, and I’m sure for the majority of the time I was craning skyward and almost stepping out in front of car/bus/bike traffic to take it all in. The Bowery was no exception. Having housed the studios and living quarters of Roy Lichtenstein, Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly and James Rosenquist amongst others, it’s something of an artistic landmark. And with a rich history running from settlement of its first residents (ten freed slaves in 1649, according to records), to its prominence in the early 1800s, onto its slide in respectability during the Civil War, you immediately get the feeling of streets with many tales to tell. 40
We walked from our apartment in Alphabet City to the heart of the Bowery and up the stairs to the Gimblett studio. Although relatively quiet on the day we visited (both Max and Kristen were in New Zealand at the time), there was still a buzz of activity as Gio showed us around the space while Matt took care of a lengthy phone call to order a selection of Max’s signature foils.
Max has lived and worked in the same building in the Bowery for nearly 40 years, in a generous characterfilled space comprising of half studio, half home. The light-filled front section is lined with Gimblett canvases and the imagined array of paint brushes, paints and foils. When I arrive, Gio is at a work bench studiously stapling canvas squares around the unforgiving quatrefoil frames most associated with Max’s work, all the while giving us a commentary on Max’s practice and a start to finish rundown on the creation of a completed work. Max shares the space with his wife Barbara KirshenblattGimblett (although her work as a Program Director, Core Exhibition at Warsaw’s Museum of the History of Polish Jews has her out of New York a lot) and a quick look in their living quarters reveals a love for books as much as painting. The apartment is lined floor-to-ceiling with book shelves, and Gio explains, to my amazement, that she knows exactly where each volume is and has read them all. This certainly put my struggles with my latest holiday read into perspective. The artwork in here is a contrast to that of the studio. We pass one of Gio’s vividly coloured jungle birds in the hallway, and the walls in the apartment are almost exclusively filled with the work of Barbara’s father, Mayer Kirshenblatt, who did not >
start painting until his 70s but produced an impressive body of work, much of which was re-produced in the award-winning book They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood before the Holocaust. Our visit was perfectly concluded with a fantastic meal at a nearby Chinese restaurant and more tales of time spent with Max and the studio. I left the Bowery feeling honoured to have gained a glimpse into the Gimblett world. Step by Step is one of a small number of ziggurat shaped works, one of which was tragically destroyed by fire earlier this year. Created in the early 1990s at a time when Gimblettâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s works were primarily hardedge abstractions, this work has a gentle lyricism. The reticence of the swiss gold surface is invigorated by movement suggested in the white brushwork as moved across the black lacquered panel.
13 PETER ROBINSON b.1966, NZ 100% Pure Cotton, 1997 acrylic on linen 350 x 445mm PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
Some of Peter Robinson’s most well-known works are his bitterly ironic Percentage paintings which used his own Maori ancestry, expressed as a ‘personal statistic’, to challenge parochial ideas that race can be measured in percentages. Although 100% Pure Cotton certainly relates to his other percentage works, it sits outside this series and is rather, a blatant comment, and witty jibe, at his contemporary Shane Cotton. Like Robinson, at this time Cotton was also exploring ideas around biculturalism in New Zealand but was perhaps, garnering more attention than Robinson. The simplified pot-plant is very much a visual icon in Cotton’s early works. It is a reoccurring symbol in his paintings of this period and used as a metaphor for the containment of land, its ownership and by extension the adverse effects of colonization on Maori. Used by Robinson here, the plant makes Cotton himself the subject of this painting.
Shane Cotton, Tekau Ma Ono (detail), 1994
The statistic, 100 percent, reiterates this and may suggest that Cotton’s work was receiving too much credit – or even singlehandedly writing this phase of New Zealand art history. It is light-hearted, albeit at Cotton’s expense, one would imagine Robinson was just having a laugh.
14 PETER ROBINSON Old Silvery, 2009 acrylic, ink, enamel, charcoal on canvas 2130 x 1830mm PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
15 PAUL DIBBLE b.1941, NZ Pacific Dancer, 1997 cast bronze edition 2 of 2 1760 x 620 x 320mm signature inscribed on base PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland EXHIBITED Gow Langsford Gallery, Kitchener St, 1998
16 Huia Feather and Ball II, 2013 cast bronze edition 2 of 2 640 x 240 x 210mm signature inscribed on base PROVENANCE Collection of the artist
17 PAUL DIBBLE Soft Lintel, 2005 cast bronze 520 x 490 x 120mm Edition 1 of 3 signature inscribed on base PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland EXHIBITED Paul Dibble: Unfolding Model, Gow Langsford Gallery, Kitchener St, 2006
Paul Dibble in his foundry, Palmerston North
ANNA GOES TO WORK IN PALMERSTON NORTH
Having worked with Paul and wife Fran over the years, a visit to the Dibble foundry in Palmerston North was long overdue. Fran had suggested (and reminded me several times) that I bring an extra pair of shoes. I wasn’t quite sure if that was a subtle way of telling me that my ‘gallery heels were not welcome in these parts’ or if she really did plan to put me to work for the day. I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that it was really both, but foremost the latter. So having clip-clopped into the foundry and through the studio tour, the shoes were changed and the overalls were donned. They had work to do and they weren’t going to let the Aucklander get in the way!
There was (quite literally) a sudden surge of activity – people sprang up from their morning teas, machines roared into action, casts were made, bronze was boiled, molten was poured and moulds were smashed open. I made the most of my sturdy shoes and they had me clambering all over the place. In sandpits, up ladders and even let me have a go with a needle gun; the tool they use to break open the ceramic moulds once the bronze has hardened. They were clearly after a laugh (which I provided) and other than the small panic when I thought I had lopped the head off a marquette with a hydraulic chisel, it was a blast. I even managed to set a few editions free. There is nothing like a day in overalls to help get your head around the complexities of an artist’s practice. For me, it wasn’t so much the number of different stages involved in the bronze casting process, but I was struck by the level of technical finesse required at each. From the earliest phases of design right through to the final touches it seemed that Dibble was constantly changing his hat. From Dibble the drafter, to Dibble the detailer, the engineer, the alchemist, the forklift driver, the scientist and the polisher, to Dibble the tired old labourer - it is a wonder that they do everything themselves at their foundry. And, Dibble, now in his seventies, has been doing it for a long time. Dibble started making works in a make-shift workshop in the shed at the end of their property and as his career gained momentum, moved to an industrial warehouse in the mid-1990s before establishing his own foundry in 2000. For me, the best part about the foundry visit was the sense of history it houses. Dibble, a private man, gives little away, yet nestled amongst the new works in progress is an archive of one of this country’s most significant sculptors - shelf upon shelf of working drawings, earlier editions, a partially cast part of a tableaux and some of the more experimental not (yet) exhibited works. Each a tiny trace of a successful career; collectively showing the perceptiveness of Dibble’s lifetime at the forefront of New Zealand sculpture.
18 YVES KLEIN 1928-62, FR Table Bleue designed 1928, made from 1963 pigment, glass, Plexiglas and steel 362 x 1250 x 997mm signed authentication plaque attached PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
Table Or, Table Bleue, Table Rose, image courtesy of Galerie JeanFrancois Cazeau
Table Bleue is one of the most iconic pieces of artistsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; furniture from the 20th century. It was designed by Yves Klein a year before his untimely death in 1962, and subsequently realised by the Yves Klein Foundation, under the supervision of his widow Rotraut Klein-Morquay. Table Bleue is from a series of three tables and, along with Table Rose and Table Or, has been produced in limited numbers by the Yves Klein Foundation since 1963. Each piece has an authenticating plaque including KleinMorquayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature and serial number. Constructed of Plexiglas, chromed metal and glass, the most famous of the trio is Table Bleue as it contains the trademark blue pigment invented by Yves Klein and referred to as IKB (International Klein Blue). Yves Klein was one of the most important artists of his generation and he worked predominately in the three colours that appear in these three iconic coffee tables: International Klein Blue, Rose or Gold. The Table Or is filled not with pigment but with three thousand 24 carat gold leaves.
Table Bleue is included in the exhibition, while Table Rose and Table Or can be viewed by appointment.
Overleaf: Table Bleue and Moonlight Wave About to Invade Rockpool (see following pages) featured at Design 55
19 MICHAEL SMITHER b.1939, NZ Moonlight wave about to invade rockpool, 1969 oil on board 1250 x 940mm framed signed and dated lower left, inscribed verso moonlight wave about to invade rock pool / $250 / M. D. Smither PROVENANCE Private collection, Hastings
A true testament to the iconic status of Michael Smither’s rock pool series of the 1960s and ‘70s, Moonlight wave about to invade rock pool demonstrates all aspects of Smither’s practice that makes him one of New Zealand’s most celebrated realist painters. The composition of Moonlight wave about to invade rock pool illustrates Smither’s ability to skew and warp vantage points within a picture in order to gain clarity and fresh perspective. His use of an extreme close-up in the foreground has the viewer simultaneously looking down at the detail of the smoothed rocks and upward toward the crashing wave in the higher picture plane - two strong vantage points creating a unique view of the same scene. The exaggerated angles give the calm water of the rock pool a great depth - the serenity of a well reaching down below the rocks and crashing wave at ground level. Smither’s shadows are sharp and vivid and his colours jewel-like, both elements giving the work a heightened realism, one of boldness and vitality. Smither’s innate knowledge of the Taranaki coast makes the scene recognisable despite its limited scope, and his Regionalist style has been likened to those of Rita Angus and Christopher Perkins. As well as composition, style and colour, symbolism is an important element, with reference made to Smither’s upbringing as a Roman Catholic. Although not immediately didactic, the significance of the rocks being washed clean by the incoming tide relates to the religious act of baptism, most notably St John the Baptist and the many versions of him baptising Christ in the Jordan River. Christ himself is portrayed in the steadfast nature of the rocks. Furthermore the contrasting scenes of calm and chaos, between the smoothed, solid boulders and the rushing water, give the work a heightened depth and energy. Michael Smither attended Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland and had his first solo exhibition in 1961. Smither works in a variety of media – oils, acrylics and screenprints – and on a variety of subjects. Landscapes, as well as scenes of domestic life – often depicting his own family – make up the large body of his work.
20 DAVID McCRACKEN b.1963, NZ Column of Flawed Ascension, 2013 stainless steel 2400 x 300 x 300mm PROVENANCE Collection of the artist
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE IDEAS BEHIND YOUR PRACTICE? DAVID McCRACKEN RESPONDS, 2014 A lot of my work is about honouring or elevating a humble… sometimes even utilitarian or banal form or object into a memorable object. I see it as a kind of amplification … I often call it a material ‘soap’. I like the idea of the sculpture as a sort of slow (stationary) drama… I am continually working on aspects of ‘process’ and method. I strive to design in an elegance to the process… I have often thought of the act of making a work as a slow audience-less performance. I have a strong urge to make beautiful objects and ergo, people’s responses to that… it seems people tend to measure themselves against beauty… if they see it at all… and am continually amazed at the meanings people project onto artwork… I see the language of objects as immeasurably rich and deep… and sculpture as a tiny subset of the collective ‘all manufactured objects’… as such, it is under great pressure to perform… especially as the quality and range of manufactured items soars…
Installation view at The French Cafe
21 DAVID McCRACKEN Portrait of Mass and Separation, 2012 Cor-ten steel 3330 x 1350 x 480mm PROVENANCE Collection of the artist
“I have often thought of the act of making a work as a slow audience-less performance” DAVID MCCRACKEN, 2014
Installation view at The French Cafe
22 JUDY MILLAR b.1957 NZ/DE Untitled, 2005 oil and acrylic on canvas 1340 x 870mm signed and dated verso PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
“What makes up reality? Is reality just a never-ending stream of visual impressions? Can it be that these impressions exist only in our mind?” JUDY MILLAR, 2014
23 JUDY MILLAR Solomon (bronze/pink), 2014 acrylic and silkscreen on canvas 2310 x 1730mm PROVENANCE Collection of the artist JUDY MILLAR ON THE IDEAS BEHIND HER PRACTICE, MAY 2014 I don’t work with ideas. Instead I have a set of recurring questions that haunt my work. Questions such as: What makes up reality? Is reality just a never-ending stream of visual impressions? Can it be that these impressions exist only in our mind? And does this mean we all have our own, purely personal vision of reality? It seems to me that there are dynamic processes by which we perceive things and we then rework our impressions of what we have seen in our own fashion. If we are forever taking in and converting to our own purposes, in our own ways, all the facts and phenomena around us, then the very act of doing so is a kind of elixir of life. Uncontrollably and without end these rise up and slip away appearances we take to be true reflections of reality. As a painter I’m trying to grasp that flow of imagery in order to fix it in the imagination long enough to really see it. Judy Millar’s career continues to gain momentum. We would like to particularly acknowledge her recent international exhibitions and achievements. In the past year alone she has had a solo exhibition Be Do Be Do Be Do at the IMA, Brisbane, Australia, been included in two significant European shows, Images for Tichy – Tichy for Images at GASK, Bohemia, Czech Republic and Friendly Takeover at MARTA Herford, Herford, Germany. Her work has even been reviewed in a Romanian newspaper (below).
Studio dinner event menu, Auckland, 2014
Studio dinner event, Auckland, 2014 (see Introduction)
24 TONY CRAGG b.1949, UK New Close Quarters, 2013 stainless steel 1430 x 680 x 700mm PROVENANCE Collection of the artist
Tony Cragg, Wuppertal, Germany
GARY LANGSFORD AND TONY CRAGG I first visited Tony Cragg’s studio in Wuppertal in Germany with New York art consultant Irena Hochman in 2007. I had been interested in Tony’s work for more than a decade after seeing an exhibition he had in Wellington many years ago and also seeing a number of works at various art fairs around the world. The studio is extraordinary and my visit this year to select new works reinforced my belief that Tony is one of the most important artists working today and perhaps the greatest sculptor of his generation. This visit was a whirlwind trip with an early flight from London to Dusseldorf, an hour taxi drive to Wuppertal, an hour and a half in the studio while the taxi driver waited patiently before a dash back to Dusseldorf airport and the return flight to London. The direct result of this trip was that I was able to secure New Close Quarters for exhibition at the Gallery in Auckland. These cast stainless steel sculptures of Tony’s are extremely complicated to produce and are highly sought-after by collectors. This material seems particularly suited to many of Cragg’s forms. It is at once solid and heavy while also being almost liquid and flowing. The often present “profiles” in Cragg’s sculptures take on a more ethereal quality when he uses this material rather than the more traditional bronze. In New Close Quarters the two heads (for want of a better term) materialise and disappear in a constant flow of molten reflection. The form threatens to dissolve before the viewer’s eyes and melt into the base below. This sculpture of Tony’s, as in many other works of a similar nature or series, seems to contradict the very nature of a sculpture as a static form. We know that this piece is a solid object made from metal but as we move around it images and forms materialise and vanish and there are rhythms and patterns that move and dance before our eyes.
Gary Langsford, Wuppertal, Germany 2014
These works are organic and abstract in form but there are elements of not only figuration but landscape hidden within. These seeming contradictions and inconsistencies are unique to Cragg’s work, and along with his extraordinary technical facility and artistic ability have made him one of world’s most well-known artists. He has exhibited everywhere from the Musee du Louvre in Paris in 2011 to the State Hermitage in St Petersburg in 2012.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;The studio is extraordinary and my visit this year to select new works reinforced my belief that Tony is one of the most important artists working today and perhaps the greatest sculptor of his generationâ&#x20AC;? GARY LANGSFORD, 2014
25 NICKY HOBERMAN b.1967, ZA/UK Doodlebugs, 2004 oil on canvas 2140 x 1525mm PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
“I want you to be seduced visually by the colours and the succulence of the paint. I want to trick the viewer into engaging with the work; seducing stealthily and only then pulling the spectator up short with the power of the work's psychological impact.” (NICKY HOBERMAN IN CONVERSATION WITH GIANNI ROMANO. Nicky Hoberman, 2002 by Gabrius publishers, Milan)
JOHN VISITS NICKY HOBERMAN IN LONDON I arrived in Camden Town by tube and followed the instructions to the given address - up a lane to an anonymous-looking warehouse building from the turn of the 19th century. Upon entering it became obvious that the space had been divided up into a veritable warren of artist studios. Fortunately Nicky had warned the people in the front spaces I was coming and they were able to guide me to her area of the building. Canvases were stacked against the wall, some very large. Packing materials lay in a corner and a wall which was designated for creating new paintings was relatively clear. 70
Nicky was curious that someone from New Zealand had sought her out and I was interested to hear about how she arrived at her style of image making. We had a lot of questions for each other.
Nicky talked about her works in terms of her life. The effects certain events had had on her. The feeling of isolation in her youth and the way she saw and imagined other children. This is played out in her paintings such as Doodlebugs, showing a child who feels like an adult, almost caricatured in the oddly awkward pose. The stark contrast between the figure and the clothes against the monochromatic background gives these works a very strong presence when one confronts them in a room. As a result of this meeting we had an exhibition of Nicky’s work at Gow Langsford Gallery in 2008. We are pleased to be able to offer this earlier work, Doodlebugs, in our current Spring Catalogue.
26 COLIN McCAHON 1919-1987, NZ He is calling on Elias, 1959 enamel and sand on hardboard 763 x 655mm (unframed)/1035 x 910mm (framed) Inscribed verso: McCahon. ‘8. 59. (brushpoint, b.r.); Colin McCahon / No 28 / HE IS CALLING ON ELIAS / 8.59 / Solpah & sand / 10 gns. extended inscriptions: he is calling / on Elias / to come to / Save him PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland EXHIBITED 1959 Christchurch: Paintings by Colin McCahon, November 1958-August 1959, Gallery 91, October 1959, cat. no. 28, 10 gns.
GORDON H. BROWN, JULY 2014 In our mainly Post-Christian world, it is all too easy to misinterpret what appears in some of Colin McCahon’s religious works, along with any relevant associations. In such circumstances they become other than what the artist intended. Sometimes elements within the painting are even treated as if it were a bad joke. The most telling example of this sort of corruption exists with Victory Over Death 2, 1970. This large painting, with its massive lettered I AM where these two simple words are taken by many people, including some artists, and given a restricted reading in a way that equals an egoistic interpretation that implies, ‘I am me’. This attitude misses the reason why the lettering of these two words, I AM, was written so large by McCahon in this painting. It has nothing to do with an individual’s personal ego, but all to do with defining a mighty God whose true name could only be uttered with great reverence; a God who described himself to Moses as I AM THAT I AM. Equally relevant, when considering this Elias painting, titled He is calling on Elias, is the need to be aware of the facts that underlie a considered reading of this particular painting. The cross of crucifixion shown in this work takes on the particular ‘T’ shape of an Egyptian Cross (a cross that assumes a significant structural role within this painting), but without any depiction of the crucified Christ. Throughout this series the presence is implied rather than shown. The words quoted in the painting were uttered by some of the bystanders who had come to watch this public spectacle of a condemned man dying by the means of the most brutal manner used by >
“For McCahon, this sense of ambiguity where a phrase can be read in more than one way was typical of many of the statements that appear in his paintings.”
the Romans, where the worst criminals died a slow and painful death. In Christ’s torment of suffering, and close to death, he is said to have called out ‘Eli, Eli, Iama sabachthani?” (‘My God, my God, why have thou forsaken me?’). Some bystanders, on hearing this anguished cry, thought that Jesus was calling on Elijah (spelt Elias in the Authorized version of the Bible). But who was this Elijah?
fiery chariot. Others, however, in jest, mocked at such a notion. For McCahon, this sense of ambiguity where a phrase can be read in more than one way was typical of many of the statements that appear in his paintings. In this respect, a work painted just before McCahon started on the Elias series, was Tomorrow will be the same but not as this is, December 1958, provides an excellent example of his mode of ambiguity.
He was one of the Old Testament prophets who, when some of the Hebrews began to worship the foreign god Baal, it was Elijah who brought such wayward citizens back to the God of Israel. Tradition has it that Elijah did not die, but was whirled up to heaven by a mighty wind in a chariot and horses of fire. But in the story of Christ’s crucifixion, some of the watching crowd mistook Jesus’ anguished cry of “Eli, Eli”, as a call to Elijah (Elias) who would have swooped down from Heaven to save Jesus in a like manner in his
McCahon felt some sympathy towards such doubters and referred to them in 1972, when he wrote: “The 1959 Elias series were all painted at Titirangi and all came out of the story of the Crucifixion…and I became interested in man’s doubts. (This theme appears here and appears later – I could never call myself a Christian, therefore these same doubts constantly assail me too)”. But let us remember that doubting can also be a way towards certainty, as it can often clarify a ‘situation’.
Colin McCahon Tomorrow will be the same but not as this is, 1958 Solpah and sand on board Provenance: Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu
Now, let’s take a closer look at this particular painting, for it seems to have been amongst the last of the Elias series to be painted. The series was begun in January 1959 and completed in August that same year. Some of these Elias paintings bear dates like Jan-Aug ’59, or June-Aug ’59. This painting is dated specifically 1.8.59, and while many Elias paintings bear the date August 1959, in the way that McCahon worked, the date on a painting did not always mean he had completed the work, for it often implied the stage when he felt satisfied with all the basic elements in a work, though frequently small changes or corrections might still be added to the work sometime later. The full date on this particular painting comes at the very beginning of August 1959 and suggests the possibility that little or no changes were made after the first of August.
“The strictness of this painting’s structure contrasts with the looser compositional elements of many of other more openly organized paintings that make up the Elias series: a series that is one of McCahon’s major series, as well as being amongst the most thought-provoking of his series.”
In this painting the top line of the ‘T’ cross divides the work vertically into two halves, while the upright stem of the cross divides the bottom half of the work into two sections: the symbols of darkness against light. It is within this dark left-hand panel that the words ‘he is calling on Elias to come to Save him’. Under the inscribed inscription, the text is underlined. In the text the words he is…Elias are given prominence, while the lower half of the statement ‘come to save him’ is written in a dull red – maybe a hint of the dried blood that would have oozed out of the six of the seven wounds suffered by Christ during his trial and slow execution? (The final wound being the centurion’s spear thrust into his side to make sure that Jesus is dead). In the top half of the picture, the darkness that is said to have spread “over the whole land [and] which lasted from midday to three in the afternoon” when Jesus called out to his God with the words previously quoted. In the painting the darkness is shown as a gloomy black chisel-edged shape to the left gliding through the land, while the midday sun (in the centre top panel) is losing its luminosity as it glows through the oncoming shadow of the approaching darkness. The well thought-out composition of this painting, with its formal structure based around the central symbolic T shaped cross; and where each of the four main areas are given their own function in the story, as these are both separated, yet bound by the symbolic cross. The strictness of this painting’s structure contrasts with the looser compositional elements of many of other more openly organized paintings that make up the Elias series: a series that is one of McCahon’s major series, as well as being amongst the most thought-provoking of his series.
27 DICK FRIZZELL b.1932, NZ Pile of Stumps, 2011 oil on canvas 1800 x 2400mm titled, dated and signed lower right PROVENANCE Collection of the artist EXHIBITED
Rugby, Rhyming and Here, Gow Langsford Gallery, 2011
DICK FRIZZELL VIA FACEBOOK PRIVATE MESSAGE 22/06/13
let’s see how this works… Pile of Stumps after Christopher Perkins’ Frozen Flame…long after…after they all fell over and the farmer bulldozed them all into piles for burning. I love these great heaps of rotting stumps. The obvious verticality of trees is always a handy compositional device in landscape painting but the stacking of more or less horizontal trees says so much more. Apart from being a seriously weighty metaphor for the material world (my perennial theme) these piles serve as a post-colonial stand-in for the grand European ‘Noble Ruin’ narrative. Like our ‘Historic Places of Interest’…usually a grassy paddock…these are our fallen temples…the mighty Macrocapa column, felled, hauled and stacked into these ignominious heaps. But painting it…recording it on a decent scale and keeping true to form… changes all that. I’m lost in the Valley of Kings when I’m working my way through a composition like this!
28 JOHN PULE b.1962, Niue Tau Malal, c.1991 acrylic on unstretched canvas 2240 x 1840mm signed and titled verso PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
John Pule shows John Gow his place of birth in Liku, Niue
NOTES ON A TRIP TO NIUE - JOHN GOW I clearly remember walking into John Pule’s first dealer gallery show in 1993 and being very moved by the work. It was original, well painted and had an energy which radiated from the canvas. The works were large and back then quite expensive. I felt compelled to purchase one which I paid off over time and this started a lifelong friendship. Gow Langsford Gallery started representing John in 1994 and I have watched John’s career follow a very impressive path - one which every artist would only dream of creating. We had talked over the years of visiting Niue together. The timing never seemed quite right. Last year the Niuean Government organised an arts festival to which John was invited to exhibit and this would be the first time he would have an official exhibition in his homeland. Finally the stars aligned and we set off together to the island of John’s birth. I have travelled extensively throughout the Pacific Islands but Niue was a unique experience. The landscape, the people, the villages combined to create a once in a lifetime visit. We arrived with a travel reporter from The New Zealand Herald, Graham Reid, and my good friend and expert in all things ethnological, Michael Graham-Stewart. Graham had hired a car so John suggested we all pile in and do a familiarisation lap of the island. As we travelled, John gave a running commentary….this is the village of Mutalau where singer Pauly Fuemana comes from. This is the village where all the island’s musicians come from. This is my village, Liku, the village where many visual artists on the island come from. We stopped, met an old Aunty and searched for the site of the Pule home in the jungle. This is the very place where John was born. I picked up an old jar and brought it home. It sits on my desk as a touchstone of this place. We carried on, this is the village where all the politicians come from, this is the village where all our religious leaders come from, and so, after about an hour and a half, we were back where we had begun. Quite an introduction. >
29 JOHN PULE Untitled, c.1996 oil on unstretched canvas 710 x 450mm PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
John Puleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first exhibition in Niue, 2013
Then there was an exhibition to organise. Fred Renata was there to help install. There were official ceremonies and openings. There was an island to explore! Volcanic rock, giant crabs, thick tropical jungle, swimming holes and areas that were challenging to access. But most of all there were the people. Friendly, open and pleased that their famous artist was finally exhibiting in his homeland. John is a humble person with a unique talent. His writing and painting come from a place deep within him - a depth mined from his ancestors who run through the very blood of his creation. As I watched the old kuia weaving, it made me think of the tradition of making tapa (hiapo) and how time has not challenged these traditions but has changed the island markedly. It was important for me to make this pilgrimage as now, I have a clear vision of Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s origins, of the place his ancestors inhabited, the place which created one of our great artists.
30 JOHN PULE Arrival, 2009 varnish, oil, enamel, ink and resin on canvas 2000 × 2000mm titled, signed and dated lower left PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland EXHIBITED Nothing Must Remain, Gow Langsford Gallery, 2009 Hauaga, City Gallery, Wellington and Auckland Art Gallery, 2010 ILLUSTRATED Thomas, N. Hauaga: The Art of John Pule, Otago university Press, 2010 p.154-155
“As always, these bold markings come in stark opposition to the finely detailed drawings within which Pule reinforces his design. These fragile inhabitants convey, through their actions and narratives, the trials and achievements of whole societies”
Arrival formed part of John Pule’s 2009 exhibition Nothing Must Remain at Gow Langsford Gallery. The series sought to highlight the often challenging exchanges between native peoples and colonial explorers and engage in a broader examination of humankind’s relationship with the sea. The series portrayed often harrowing images of conflict and waste, and offered an emotive look at love and the human view of, and impact on, the ocean. Pule uses a starker palette here than in previous series’ with the bold contrast of black on white tempered only by the yellowed smears of varnish. In contrast to his previous series that had developed narratives amongst a cluster of cloudlike forms, here many of the larger symbols are held within partitions, recalling both Pule’s early work and the traditional structure of Niuean tapa cloth, or ‘hiapo’. As always, these bold markings come in stark opposition to the finely detailed drawings within which Pule reinforces his design. These fragile inhabitants convey, through their actions and narratives, the trials and achievements of whole societies, drawing us into their miniature lives and strengthening Pule’s intricate web of symbolism.
31 GRETCHEN ALBRECHT b.1943, NZ Painting for Mum and Dad, 1990 acrylic on canvas 1000 x 2000mm overall signed and titled verso PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
32 GRETCHEN ALBRECHT Winter Sky, Karekare, 1973 acrylic on canvas 1735 x 1335mm signed and dated lower right PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
Great gestural strokes of primary motion fill Painting for Mum and Dad’s (catalogue #30) semi-circular canvas by Gretchen Albrecht. The densely loaded brushstrokes, which, since application, have merged into the porous linen surface, appear to dance in rapid leaps across the rainbow shaped support. Her confidence is apparent, and our instinctive attraction to the raw palette is too. It is a visceral and energetic painting, though despite its vigorous enthusiasm, the work also embodies a silence and contemplation enhanced through the stable harmony of converging planes of colour. Colour which has the potential to be read in coded symbolism, the conveyor of meaning and emotion. Does one see the rising moon and the setting sun? Fire and ice? Anger and calm? Or, even, blood and water? This work embodies the emotion we project onto it, a story to be read and interpreted, and because of its abstracted quality, we can see whatever our minds are capable of creating. Perhaps A Painting for Mum and Dad is merely a momentary expression of the artist’s emotion at one point in time. Or perhaps it is a record of our own emotions, a work symbolic of everything, and of nothing. Albrecht’s Winter Sky, Karekare narrates an abstracted seascape – an expression of the essence of a striking natural environment. It is similar to A Painting for Mum and Dad in its dramatic application of paint, though this work harbours a greater fluidity in its approach. In contrast to the distinctive semi-circle canvas, this work is stretched to a more generic form. The rectangular format of the painting seems to allow the artist’s brush a more liberated journey, with passages of irregular line partnered next to one another. Colour is emotive and raw, though naturally depicted. This scene is obviously that of a transitioning horizon, a snapshot of the interaction between west-coast ocean and the setting sun.
In both works, Albrecht’s colours mingle in simultaneous harmony and contrast. We are drawn into the process of the work – the dance of the brush, and the movement of fluid paint. But it is the deeper emotion of the works that remain after viewing. They express to us an essence of something which is so personal to each individual, and it is that quality which gives these paintings such transcendent power.
33 ROB WYNNE b.1950, USA Noir, 2010 poured and mirrored glass in 5 parts dimensions variable, approx. 635 x 812mm overall PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland EXHIBITED WORD, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, 2011
Questions of language inform Rob Wynne’s seductive glass drawings. Enjoying the unpredictability of his medium, the artist pours the glass to form loosely shaped letters which are then silvered to create a mirrored effect. The hard nature of the glass material is belied by the plump, and podgy letters in Noir which appear to be kitschy and slapstick scepticisms. His works often seem to address narcissism, desire and the ephemeral in a manner immediately accessible and amusing. Noir challenges the viewer to contemplate deeper connotations of language, rather than interpreting written text as explanatory. Wynne’s works are held in significant public collections worldwide including The Museum of Modern Art, New York City; The Whitney Museum of Art, New York City; La Collection de Frac des Pays de la Loire, France; The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Fondation D’Art Contemporain Guerlain, Les Menuls, France.
“I first saw Rob Wynne’s mirrored text works at the Chicago art fair many years ago and then a mutual acquaintance put us in direct contact. In 2011, I went and visited Rob in his home and studio on New York’s West Broadway. Rob was instantly excited about the opportunity to exhibit in New Zealand and as I was curating a group exhibition based around text he introduced me to another great New York artist, John Giorno. The result was the exhibition “WORD” in June of that year.” GARY LANGSFORD, 2014
34 JAN DE VLIEGHER b.1964, BE Gentleman Riding a Horse, 2012 oil on canvas 2000 x 2000mm PROVENANCE Collection of the artist
Installation and studio views 92
35 JAN DE VLIEGHER Louvre, Paysage Napoléon, 2012 oil on canvas 1100 x 1100mm PROVENANCE Collection of the artist
These two paintings by Belgian painter, Jan De Vliegher explore ideas of contemporary collecting. The central subjects in Louvre, Paysage Napoleon and Gentleman Riding a Horse are porcelain plates, yet, set against a neutral background, the plates become compositional vehicles within which de Vliegher can display his mastery of technique. De Vliegher arranges his plates individually on a glass shelf held vertically by the use of a Perspex plate-stand. Everything is depicted in De Vliegher’s immediate and fluid style with his signature economy of gesture. De Vliegher rejects the preciousness and fragility of his subjects turning them into luscious painterly expressions of themselves. The paint moves over his compositions in soft tones with apparent ease. The medium - applied alla prima, ‘wet on wet’ - implies a measured amount of urgency, while splashes and drips of paint move across the composition. His work shies away from being profound or visionary yet De Vliegher’s ‘collectibles’ are overpowering in scale, they draw you in and provoke questions of display and the value of these objects in contemporary collecting. The works come from a larger body of work exhibited at Gow Langsford earlier in the year, and are a continuation of work shown in his Treasury show at Mike Weiss Gallery in New York in 2012.
36 DAMIEN HIRST b.1965, UK Curare, 2012 wood block print on paper edition 17 of 55 462 x 462 mm 640 x 630 mm framed signed lower right PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
In 2011, Gow Langsford Gallery mounted this country’s first one man exhibition of works by British art-tycoon Damien Hirst. It was one of the gallery’s most well attended exhibitions and since then we have enjoyed an ongoing relationship with his English dealers and been able to secure several significant works for exhibition here, as well as for at art fairs in Australia. From the outset of his career Hirst was interested in the possibilities of the multiple and for this year’s Spring Catalogue exhibition we have brought together a selection of Hirst’s most well-known and instantly recognisable editions. The Souls (catalogue #36-39) are elusive and ornate. They are the result of a delicate block foil printing process. The consecutive series is made up of a few compositions in various colour-ways and each print is from a limited edition of only fifteen. In The Souls butterflies act as symbols for both the beauty of life and its impermanence and become metaphors for faith. By comparison, his Spin Skulls (cataloge #40) make overt reference to mortality in the use of the skull motif. The Hours Spin Skull series are painted using the childhood favourite technique of spin painting for which Hirst has become well-known. Using the spinning technique, each skull is hand painted in high gloss and the resulting finish is unique to each of the 210 works in the edition. Made in 2009, the series is also a collaboration with British Rock band The Hours and each piece houses a copy of their album See the Light. The Spot paintings, also referred to as his pharmaceutical paintings, first begun in 1988. The works are characterized by an arrangement of coloured spots organized within a grid system. The grid offers endless compositional possibilities and Hirst has only one simple rule, that within each work each colour is used only once. Curare is a technically accomplished wood block print. Its title, as with all his spot prints, is named after the sub-
37 38 39 40 Left to right from facing page:
The Souls lll - Chocolate/Oriental Gold/Burgundy edition 10 of 15, 5 APs, singed and numbered, OC7906/660-9 The Souls l - Prairie Copper/Oriental Gold edition 7 of 15, 5APs, signed and numbered OC7804/659-67 The Souls ll - Emerald Green/Burgundy/Blind Impression edition 7 of 15, 5 APs, signed and numbered, OC7876/658-59 The Souls lV - Topaz/Raven Black edition 7 of 15, 5 APs, signed and numbered, OC8045/1418-68 All:
2010 foil block on 300gsm Arches 88 archival paper sheet size: 720 x 510mm framed size: 775 x 570mm
41 DAMIEN HIRST The Hours Spin Skulls - 175, 2009 household gloss on plastic skull includes The Hours latest CD album See The Light 210 x 140 x 140mm
42 SERAPHINE PICK b.1964, NZ Summer's Wind, 2000 oil on canvas 2010 x 3000mm PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland
Seraphine Pick is known for her paintings that explore the realm of imagination, identity and fantasy. The imagination is ignited in the colossal dreamscape that is Summer’s Wind. Like the succession of images, ideas and emotions that run through our minds as we dream, its content and purpose is not concretely understood. Pick’s collection of images is curious: mythical animals with many heads, oversized flora and fauna, a copulating pair, and summer bathers that emerge from a vast ocean. Her range of subjects is eclectic, bizarre even, yet, as if by déjà vu, there is something strangely familiar about this work. The objects and characters are vastly out of scale, thus there are several probable protagonists in this story. A sense of depth is achieved by the placement of seemingly disparate subjects layer upon layer, and although there is some sense of narrative, the viewer is ultimately invited to bring their own associations and interpretations to the work.
43 44 45 46 47 48 SERAPHINE PICK (Images clockwise from top)
Looking Like Someone Else - Portrait 4, 1997 Looking Like Someone Else - Portrait 36, 1997 Looking Like Someone Else - Portrait 23, 1997 Looking Like Someone Else - Portrait 22, 1997 Looking Like Someone Else - Portrait 15, 1997 Looking Like Someone Else - Portrait 2, 1997 oil on canvas each 400 x 300mm each signed and dated lower right PROVENANCE Private Collection, Auckland
“Most significantly, there is the intentional difficulty in making any emotional connection with the subjects.” In the six works from the series Looking Like Someone Else, Pick plays with the duality between the familiar and the unknown. From a larger series of 36 small ‘portraits’ these works are difficult to define as such as they lack the traditional techniques of portraiture that we may expect. Most significantly, there is the intentional difficulty in making any emotional connection with the subjects. There is no potential eye to eye contact for example - our approaches are flatly denied or at least deflected by the sitters’ pose, a back of the subject’s head, a featureless face, or a bare limb. Far from offering the viewer more information about her sitters, the altered and blurred images are obstructive. Rather than being able to understand and connect with the subject through the usual techniques associated with portraiture, we create our own understanding of their identities through the limited information we can decipher. Yet despite their anonymity, they are somehow familiar. These anonymous signs stand in for the recognizable, reminding us that identities are made up of individually inconsequential details.
49 BERNAR VENET b.1941, FR GRIB, 2012 sterling silver necklace or brooch 65 x 60 x 3mm Edition 3 of 8 accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from the Bernar Venet Studio. Signed and dated 15.2.2012, inventory number:bv12jl.3
Bernar Venet with view of GRIBS installation, 2011
My passion for artists’ jewelry was born on the day my sculptor husband, Bernar Venet, amused himself by rolling a thin stick of silver around my left ring finger to make me a wedding ring! This first gesture, so moving in its spontaneity, had a far-reaching impact on me. It allowed me to discover the scarcely-known universe of such unique and precious works of art. Precious because of their rarity, but also for the symbolic content that is often at the origin of their creation (www. artdaily.org). Diane Venet Diane Venet is one of the world’s most prolific collectors of artists’ jewelry. Her collection of nearly 200 works includes pieces by Picasso, Braque, Lichtenstein, Stella, Dali, Koons and Kapoor and was inspired by a romantic proposal by her husband, Gallery artist Bernar Venet. Over the past decades Diane has worked with artists on projects that, in their fusion of the two genres, question the function of jewelry. For Diane “a piece of ‘artist’s jewelry’, like a painting or a piece of sculpture, is a work of art. Springing from the same creative approach, it possesses the same force, poetry and ability to provoke, sometimes even the same humor. It is only their ultimate purpose that distinguishes one from the other.” (www.dianevenet.com)
Fittingly, Diane and Bernar collaborated in 2012 and we are pleased to be able to offer the result, a sterling silver GRIB piece, in this year’s catalogue. Throughout his career, Bernar has made pioneering contributions to the discourse of contemporary sculpture. Generally speaking, Venet’s practice has been characterized by an enduring but evolutional engagement with mathematical precision and its contradictory counterpart, the uncertain. In 2012 Gow Langsford Gallery exhibited works from his GRIB series which extend this dialogue between the mathematical and the gestural. Created from torch-cut steel, these wall-mounted works are like lively sketches. They confront the viewer with the fact of sheer matter - the spontaneity of the drawings countered by their monumental physicality.
GRIB, 2011, torch-cut waxed steel, 2500 x 2840 x 35mm
In comparision to the enormity and epic presense of the steel works, this GRIB is finely cast in sterling silver. It possesses the same spontaneity of the gestural drawing upon which it is based, yet as a body adornment is delicate and personal.
50 DALE FRANK b.1959, AU Mike Hunt, 2001 acrylic and varnish on canvas 1400 x 1100mm signed and dated verso PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland EXHIBITED Dale Frank Recent Paintings, Gow Langsford Gallery, 2001
Dale Frank is one of Australia’s most interesting contemporary painters. His paintings are the results of a highly complex painting technique in which intensely coloured varnish is poured layer upon layer in different stages of the drying process. In the resulting enigmatic and lyrical abstractions, surfaces are laden with colours that collide and separate, literally reacting with one another. The monochromatic works of the early 2000s, such as Mike Hunt, are some of Frank’s most sought-after works. Throughout his career, the titles of Dale Frank’s work have added another dimension to his paintings. The titles act as elaborate and surrealistic triggers that encourage visual associations to deliberately elusive subjects. They are always beguiling and often witty and have referenced landscapes, narratives, journeys or even the business of art itself – the artists, dealers and their galleries. His comic approaches present a satiric look at the insecurities and pretensions that exist in particular scenarios and situations. The 2001 exhibition, in which Mike Hunt was included, is remembered not only for the works themselves, but for their use of subtle, yet sexually explicit work titles.
51 SHEN XIAOTONG b.1968, CN Portrait #24, 2006 oil on canvas 995 x 3390mm PROVENANCE Private collection, Auckland EXHIBITED Lorne St Opening Exhibition, Gow Langsford Gallery, 2008
Shen Xiaotong’s painting practice explores portraiture, and throughout this, colour plays a primary role. Shen's canvases of the early 1990s were saturated with red, while more recent works, such as Painting #24 feature a distinctive pastel palette. The majority of Shen's portraits are groupings, often featuring friends and acquaintances of the artist. Yet while the figures within Shen's works are grouped in a way that implies a shared connection, there is little sense of direct communication or solidarity among the subjects. Instead, finding solitude in a multitude, the figures gaze in different directions - occasionally looking towards the viewer, more often staring at sights unseen, beyond the edges of the picture plane. Part of the recent wave of internationally recognised contemporary Chinese artists, Shen's work examines a rapidly changing society in the wake of the Cultural Revolution. Comparisons are often drawn, for example, between his work and that of contemporary Zhang Xiaogang, known particularly for his 'bloodlines' series of portraits. Unlike Zhang's work however, which often features formal family compositions, Shen's subjects are not steeped in shared history, or even bound by a shared present. In works such as Painting #24, the figures occupy an entirely ambiguous physical space, and attention is focused towards the psychological. Searching, inquisitive or contemplative, Shen’s figures look towards an unknown future. Shen Xiatong lives and works in Chengdu, China. Solo exhibitions have been held at The Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong, 2008; Shine Art Space, Shanghai, 2007 and Soobin Art Int'l, Singapore, 2007. In addition to group shows across Asia, Shen’s work has been shown at art fairs in New York and Miami, and in exhibitions in South America, Europe and the United States.
HYE RIM LEE
JAN DE VLIEGHER
Michael Hight, Plateau I, 2012, oil on linen, 1050 x 1050mm
Have a specific space in mind and canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find the right fit?
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Sara Hughes, Orangery, 2013, ANZ Centre Lobby, Auckland, vinyl on glass. Commissioned by ARTT for ANZ
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Gary Langsford is a founding director of Gow Langsford Gallery and is also co-owner of design55, a design store specialising in limited edition furniture and objects.
With extensive experience advising private collectors, acting as a consultant to corporate collections, museums and public institutions, John Gow is an expert in New Zealand Art. He is a founding director of Gow Langsford Gallery and, along with Gary, was Director of John Leech Gallery. Now with over thirty years in the industry, John has specialist expertise in historical New Zealand art and indigenous artefacts and a personal interest in collecting 19th and early 20th century photography, contemporary New Zealand paintings and sculpture, and post contact Maori objects.
Gary has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture) and Art History from Elam School of Fine Arts, and has worked as a specialist in contemporary New Zealand art for over three decades. Increasingly focussed on the global art market he travels frequently to art fairs and auctions abroad, particularly in Europe and America. He has specialist knowledge in 20th Century Applied Arts and has a significant personal collection of art, objet dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;art and furniture that reflects this expertise. He is currently a board member of Heart of the City, the Uptown Business Association and NZ Contemporary Arts Trust. Gary is based at our Lorne St Gallery. 114
Currently a member of the Northern Club Art Committee, John is also a member of the McKelvie Trust Board which manages the bequest of the McKelvie Estate to the Auckland Art Gallery. He also sits on the Telecom Art Trust which owns and oversees the Telecom art collection and the Britomart Arts Trust. John is based at our Kitchener St Gallery.
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Gretchen Albrecht 31, 32 Tony Cragg 24 Paul Dibble 15, 16, 17 Tony Fomison 2 Dale Frank 50 Dick Frizzell 27 Max Gimblett 12 Damien Hirst 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 Nicky Hoberman 25 Frances Hodgkins 1 Richard Killeen 3, 4 Yves Klein 18 Allen Maddox 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Colin McCahon 26 David McCracken 20, 21 Judy Millar 22, 23 Seraphine Pick 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48 John Pule 28, 29, 30 Peter Robinson 13, 14 Michael Smither 19 Bernar Venet 49 Jan De Vliegher 34, 35 Rob Wynne 33 Shen Xiaotong 51
GUESS THE CAPTION Gary Langsford, John Gow and Hamish McKay c. 1989 Send us your caption ideas and the winning caption will win a dinner for two at Hotel de Brett. Visit our Facebook page to enter.
Published to coincide with the exhibition Spring Catalogue 2014 at Gow Langsford Gallery, Lorne St, 15 October - 8 November 2014. Cover image: David McCracken, Portrait of Mass and Separation (detail), catalogue #21 Inside front cover image: Dale Frank, Mike Hunt (detail), catalogue #50 Inside back cover image: Gretchen Albrecht, Winter Sky, Karekare (detail), catalogue #32 Commission p113 arranged by Paul Baragwanath from Arttform Design: Hannah Valentine for Gow Langsford Gallery Photography: Tobias Kraus www.tobiaskraus.com Publication coordinator: Anna Jackson Advertising coordinator: Amie Hammond Text: Gordon H. Brown, Ben Doyle, John Gow, Amie Hammond, Anna Jackson, Gary Langsford, Priya Patel with contributions by: Judy Millar, Dick Frizzell, Dave McCracken, ÂŠ 2014 All text and images copyright the artists and authors and Gow Langsford Gallery ISBN: 978-0-9864630-6-8
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The new Porsche Macan I attended the launch of the new Porsche Macan at Giltrap Prestige earlier in the year and it was during the speeches I learned that Macan is pronounced exactly the same as McCahon, New Zealand’s most well-known and significant artist of the 20th century. Being in my profession, this coincidence gives rise to all sorts of advertising possibilities: “transport your McCahon in your new Macan”, “what safer way to transport your McCahon”, and numerous other ideas that I will leave to the advertising gurus. As a result of a discussion about some of these ideas with Christopher Appel the Sales Manager for Porsche at Giltrap Group, he suggested I should test drive the new Macan and I was only too pleased to take up his offer.
The vehicle I drove was the top of the range Turbo and it is truly a stunning vehicle in every respect. Porsche quotes a 0-100km/h of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 266 km/h, not that I managed to experience either! This SUV for want of a better term drives more like a 911 with very little body roll through the corners, plenty of feedback through the steering wheel and fantastic positive breaking. Although the Macan is comparable in size to the Audi Q5 the Macan’s boot is 40 litres bigger and the seats fold completely flat. Really, what better way to transport your McCahon? I am certain over the next few months we will see a number of clients arrive at the gallery in their new Macan and I only hope I will be loading a McCahon into the boot! Gary Langsford
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