Friday, August 31, 2012

And the best sign...

...on Cockatoo Island at the Biennale of Sydney


Robert Hughes the art critic and writer died earlier this month and it set us thinking about our own memorable encounter with him. He was giving a lecture in Wellington in the 1980s and we were asked to keep him occupied for an afternoon. 

What the hell do you show Robert Hughes when he comes to Wellington? Not being complete masochists we stayed away from art and started with the Maori and Pacific collections in the Dominion Museum on Buckle Street. 
Captain Cook's Hawai'ian feather cloak completely captivated him and his knowledge of it was formidable. Across the way from this cultural marvel was the Museum's attempt to display something of its fish collections. This was done by sticking stuffed fish on rods so they looked as though they were in schools swimming through a fake grotto. They got Hughes going prompting astonishing stories from the history of displaying things on sticks (as we found out that day Hughes could speak with expertise on any subject at all and we kept throwing up arcane and silly topics to see what eloquent miracles came out of his mouth). Next we moved onto a small glass fish tank mounted into a wall that had a single sea horse floating in it. The abject poignancy of it all was too much for Hughes who was convulsed with laughter, his face (already pretty florid) going a sort of purple colour. 
Back home, Bob (we were nervously calling him Bob by this time) saw his book The shock of the new on the shelves. He strode over, pulled it out and wrote with a flourish ‘For Jim and Mary Barr with best from Bob Hughes’. We were too stunned to tell him it was a borrowed copy.
We stumped up with another copy for our friend and decided that to commemorate the afternoon anyone called Bob or Robert should sign alongside Hughes. Curator Robert Leonard and artist Robert Jesson did just that, but then it turned out we didn't know very many Roberts and no Bobs and everything went all to hell. 
From then on artists who stayed or visited were invited to do something with book and its illustrations, you can see a couple of them above. Now Bob's book is going to spend the rest of its life in the Christchurch Art Gallery library.
Images: Top left, Marie Shannon deals up The rat in the Rietveld chair and right, Michael Smither transforms Cezanne’s mountain into Taranaki. Bottom Neil Pardington converts one of Albert Speer’s buildings for Germania into the Sarjeant Gallery.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The weirdest sign we saw at the Art Gallery of New South Wales


The Biennale of Sydney has usually included New Zealand artists in the mix although they’ve been pretty stingy about it considering how close NZ is connected to Australian culture. This year’s Biennale has three of them: Peter Robinson, Tiffany Singh and Sriwhana Spong. If you can get there you can see all three on Cockatoo Island (Singh also has an installation in Pier 3).  
Cockatoo Island was first used as a Biennale venue in 2008 when this year’s Documenta curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev was artistic director. It’s a multi-layered place of spectacle and history and has become the highlight of the event. A free ferry gets you there in just 15 minutes and Sydney weather being what it is, the walk round the buildings, along the wharfs, through tunnels and up long flights of stairs creates a dramatic experience. 
Sneaking through the barriers to get a look behind Robinson’s gigantic polystyrene construction, looking over the water listening to the rush of chimes from Singh’s Knock on the sky, and glimpsing people moving like dancers behind Spong’s large orange curtains, Cockatoo Island certainly delivered the goods. Lots of other great things too, of course. Maria Fernanda Cardoso's intense investigation into the sexual mechanics of insects was unforgettable (as you might expect with insect sex organs blown up some hundreds of times)and so too was the elegant neon work of Jonathan Jones. A run-down shipping yard on an island in one of the world's most beautiful harbours, got to love it. 
Images: Top Tiffany Singh Knock on the sky listen to the sound. Middle, Sriwhana Spong Costume for a mourner and bottom Peter Robinson Snowball blind time (click on images to enlarge)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

1954 to 2012

From Colin McCahon’s "I am that is who I am" to the street’s "I am the Batman".

i watering

From the digital end of the lookalike spectrum here is an iPhone app that lets you “paint just like Albert.” That’s Albert Namatjira from the Northern Territory in Australia. It turns out you can create ‘watercolours’ Namatjira style, colour in a template in a paint-by-numbers format or go DIY. Download a copy of the free app here.
Other art imitating possibilities are the chance to transform your own photographs into an Andy Warhol-like-product on iPad and “seeing your world through Picasso’s eyes” by converting videos into “cubist paintings” (seriously) on an Android. Warhol here and the gateway to cubism here.
Images: Left  instant Namatjira and right, colour yourself Warhol

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Branded: Bill Hammond

The moment when artists become brands. (thanks to H and S)

Loose lips sink ships

While Fairfax Media is hell bent on giving the visual arts as much grief as possible via the Dominion Post and Sunday Star Times, pity the Capital Times. This Wellington freebie focuses on local news and tried to do a story on Michael Parekowhai’s exhibition at Te Papa On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer. They called up to get some answers to a few questions but no one was “available” to talk to them. Too busy? Too lofty? Too nervous? Who knows.
So the CT turned to five dealer galleries. Would they say something about on why the red piano was of national importance and whether separating it from the two bronze pianos was the right thing to do? Turns out only one of them (Jenny Neligan of Bowen Galleries) while the rest wouldn’t stick their necks out to comment.
The journalist at the Capital Times was surprised that “the arts community, so often critical of media coverage, are too scared to comment when given the opportunity.”  Given that Te Papa has the biggest budget for the purchase of art in the country, he really shouldn’t have been.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The shining

How much did Christchurch love Michael Parekowhai's pianos? Judging from the front of the bronze stool cushions where the patina has worn through to the metal - a lot.

Image: Michael Parekowhai's sculpture A peak in Darien during installation at Te Papa

Cover story

The visual arts don’t often get the front page of a metropolitan daily. Well scratch that - they never do. So you can expect if the Dominion Post gives over virtually a full front page to anything art-related it's going to be either outrage at public expenditure (their current dog-bites-child issue) or that they're hot on the trail of a chance to stir up controversy.

So what do you think happens when the Dowse Art Museum decides it will accommodate a Qatari artist's request that her film of uncovered women preparing for a wedding be only shown to women one at a time? The Dominion Post devotes its front page to position it as a 'No Men Allowed' scandal. That's 1.380 column cms including an enormous 300 x 180 cm photograph and a street banner. The subject of the uncredited mega-pic? A Muslim woman with her head and face covered in the most traditional form. Given that the film is actually about women who are not covered this could hardly be more inflammatory especially when the artist herself Sophia Al-Maria appears in a small profile pic wearing a headscarf.

The Dominion Post also claims in its 30 center meter high sub header that the ‘women only’ request is a “controversial edict.” In fact the Human Rights Commission has simply said it will respond to any complaint (if there is one) as usual. 

The director of the Dowse Cam McCracken has called the film by Sophia Al-Maria “a really important work”. This sentiment was echoed by a spokeswoman from the Islamic Women’s Council who told the Dominion Post that she hoped the film would “promote some interesting discussion rather than reactive controversy.” Thanks to the shock-horror handling by the Dominion Post the chances of that are all but non existent.

"Lower Hutt resident Paul Young is calling for support for his campaign against the work, which he says is "inflammatory and provocative", and discriminates against half the population.
"As a ratepayer, I find it a shocking situation. I see this sort of thing as being the thin end of the wedge," Young said. 
"Steps have to be taken to make sure that this doesn't go ahead in its current format."

And they're off. 

You can see Sophia Al-Maria talk about one of her other films here. Her film Scifi Wahabi was shown at the Snake Pit Gallery in Auckland earlier this year.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

One day at OTN

J: It’s bloody well Saturday and we don’t have anything to post at all.

M: What about that thing on dolphins that do figurative paintings?

J: Not finished yet.

M: The Jeffrey Deitch story?

J: Did that last Saturday.

M: I guess we’ll have to fall back on showing one of those David Shrigley animations...

J: Yeah, looks like it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

From the stream

Guy Somerset is the Books and Culture Editor of the NZ Listener

Mr Art and Mr GST

This starts off as an art tattoo story and ends up all over the place. The tattoo belongs to Ken Fehily. He's an art collector and now chair of the Melbourne Art Foundation which runs the biennial Melbourne Art Fair. He was also a tax guy at PricewaterhouseCoopers and helped bring GST to Australia. All this is why he has a ‘Mr GST’ tat on one arm and ‘Mr Art’ on the other.
Fehily comes to the Melbourne Art Fair at a tough time. Fourteen offshore galleries exhibited in 2008 but only 11 fronted up this year with 70 percent of them from NZ, and that thanks to a baby-brother-discount from the Art Fair and Creative NZ grants.
Anyway, Fehily has now arranged for Tim Etchells (who started the popular Hong Kong Art Fair) to manage the MelbourneArt Fair for the next eight years. Etchells has also recently launched a SydneyArt Fair (…getting the picture?). Our own very successful Auckland Art Fair is no doubt keeping a nervous eye on all of this manoeuvring.
Mr Art was also involved in a big auction last week in which he and his wife (she runs the dealer gallery FehilyContemporary in Melbourne which includes a handful of NZ artists) put up 72 works from their own collection. It was a disappointment. Just 25 lots sold at an average price of $11,000 apparently putting the skids under their hopes for funding a charitable foundation and putting some money back into the gallery. You can read all this and other stuff about Mr Art in a more coherent form in the Financial Review.
Image: Top, Mr GST with his Mr Art tat on the right arm. Bottom Mr Art with his Mr GST tat on the left arm. (photo of Ken Fehily by Arsineh Houspian for the Financial Review). And thanks to tipster H for the tip off.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Raft of references

(Better late than never... well that's our story anyway) In the past we'd have simply assumed this poster was another lookalike of Gericault's The Raft of the Medusa but this time we figured it was more likely to have come via Louis J. Steele and Charles F. Goldie’s effort in the Auckland Art Gallery The Arrival of the Maoris in New Zealand. It turns out that the choreographer Neil Ieremia of Black Grace was in fact inspired by something else. A 2004 Bill Viola work called The Raft but of course that was itself inspired by the G Théodore Géricault’s painting along with the Steele Goldie version.
You can see an excerpt from Viola’s work here and some other stuff that sprang out of Géricault’s original here.
Image: Top the Black Grace poster and bottom a scene from Bill Viola’s video The Raft

On the road

Here they go again. The Ministry of Transport giving credit where credit is due to the country's artists.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

That simple

“I'm always optimistic about art, because what would happen to us without it?”
Paula Cooper talking to Matthew Higgs in Interview

To die for

One of the greatest pieces of good fortune to come our way was back in the 1980s when Gretchen Albrecht and James Ross offered to lend us a work by Colin McCahon while they were out of the country. It was the number two written in white on a black landscape under a scumbled white sky (in the crudest sense of the colour wheel) painted on hardboard. It has since gone into another private collection but you can see it here.
There was a great story attached to this or a similar painting. Apparently McCahon was in New Plymouth teaching an art class when one of the participants asked him what this painting was about. McCahon, a straight talker, said, “It’s about the number two” where upon the questioner, rather taken aback, said, “Is that all?” McCahon looked up and after a pause replied, “How much more do you want?” Hard to argue with that.
So when we saw this dramatic bit of painting above a letterbox in Kilbirnie we were thinking of Colin McCahon and the number two.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Strictly two per customer

Target might have Jeff Koons Balloon Dog tied up but here The Warehouse is also hot on contemporary art lookalikes with a version of Damien Hirst's skull work For the love of God on the shelves. (Thanks S) You can watch the making of the Hirst version here.

Panting for art

We haven’t had a really good protest outside an art museum in NZ for ages. It's hard to imagine Te Papa showing a statue of the Virgin in a condom nowadays or the City Gallery fronting up with a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition, but in Caracas, Venezuela protest has reached giddy heights sparked by the saga of the Matisse painting Odalisque in Red Trousers.
Around 12 years ago the painting was stolen from the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art with the thieves replacing it with a shonky version they'd knocked up. The switch went undiscovered for who knows how long but came to light as the museum struggled to find works by Jasper Johns, Henry Moore and Lucian Freud. Some commentators think there may be up to 365 works missing (which puts the 20 that Te Papa were having trouble finding a few years ago into perspective). 
And the troubles in Caracas aren't over. The Matisse Odalisque has been found by the FBI but they are being slow, very slow, to return it (oh, oh, they are now starting to think that this one might be another fake). Losing patience a group of women have done what any sensible art protestors would do and gathered outside the museum just wearing red harem pants. More here if you want it.
Image: Top protestors at the Caracas museum and bottom the recovered painting

Monday, August 20, 2012

Respectfully yours

"Good art is often not easy to understand immediately. The four finalist works in the Walters Prize at Auckland Art Gallery are enigmatic, to say the least, and their format makes them difficult to approach."
T J McNamara's review of Auckland Art Gallery's Walters Prize in the NZH

Life of Brian

We saw Brian Butler (the last but one director of Artspace) twice while we were away. Once in the flesh in his gallery in Los Angeles and once on a screen in a museum in Paris. 
Without wanting to belittle the personal experience of being with Brian, the screen version was definitely more intriguing. It turns out that Brian, a friend of the artist Paul McCarthy (that’s something in itself when you think about it), was roped in to play a part in one of McCarthy’s movies. Originally, Brian told us, he was supposed to play the part of the critic (not a great part as it involved smelling McCarthy’s backside at a critical point in the film) but arrived late and ended up as the talk show host. 
We saw the resulting 1995 McCarthy film 'Painter' at the Quai Branly in Paris in the Masters of Chaos exhibition. As we watched up popped a familiar face, albeit mostly concealed by a bulbous rubber nose (Butler recalls McCarthy pulling off his own false nose and gluing it onto his -Butler's - face before he had a chance to give an opinion as to whether or not this seemed like a good idea). If you want to see Brian Butler in ‘Painter’ it is still viewable on YouTube. He turns up toward the end. The set and all the props for ‘Painter’ are now part of the Rubell Family Collection in Miami. 

Later: Then in Auckland at St Paul St and we stumble in to Sean Grattan's movie HADHAD which we had seen in LA. And who's up there on the screen as we enter? Kate Butler (Brian's wife) who is one of its stars. Snap.
Images: Brian Butler (left of screen) in Paul McCarthy’s film 'Painter'

Saturday, August 18, 2012


You can’t keep a good balloon dog down. Jeff Koons certainly tried. He figured his over-sized versions in stainless steel gave him enough dibs to prevent Jamie Alexander from exhibiting and selling balloon dog like product in his store. 
He figured wrong. In a new twist in the balloon dog wars the American chain store Target now offers a balloondog lamp. It is provocatively available in silver at $34.99 (including a bulb). And, the internet being what it is, there is already a balloon dog site showing off all the recent and not so recent  houseware efforts. We’ve already pointed you to some of these last year so this is balloon dog mania for the last time on OTN.

Friday, August 17, 2012

In touch

The Adam Art Gallery demonstrates that it is possible to show contemporary art to people as though they are grown adults. No Perspex box (Len Lye), no taped line on the floor (Andrew Drummond), no stantion (Roger Peters) and no riser podium (Bill Culbert).
Images: Top left to right, Len Lye Roundhead, Andrew Drummond 9 stoppages from the Journey of a sensitive cripple, Peter Rogers Blue ladder and bottom, Bill Culbert Hokitika return journey

By the numbers

2     the number of times Marcel Duchamp’s readymade Fountain has been exhibited in New Zealand
3     the number of days the Walters Prize artists were given to install their work
3     the number of senior curators currently being sought by New Zealand art museums
5     the number of months the starting of the Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth has been delayed
19   the average amount in millions of dollars that the Lotteries Board has given Creative NZ annually over the last 25 years
50   the number of years Billy Apple has been Billy Apple 
200  the number of art works Te Papa has announced it has displayed over the last five years.
211  the number of works by Michael Smither in the collection of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
914  the cost in dollars to hire the foyer of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery for one night

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Little brick out

LEGO art, LEGO and art, art made with LEGO. No escaping it.
Image: Anish Kapoor's mega sculpture Orbit made in LEGO by Warren Elsmore. More here.

Prize winning exhibition

The first thing you notice about the Walters Prize (after the observation that it’s definitely one of the best-looking ones so far) is the finish. All the installations are presented in constructed spaces that artists of the past could only have dreamed about.
Indeed the quality of the installations is on an obsession rating up there with Billy Apple.  And of course it’s artists like Billy who have prepared the way so that this kind of quality can be expected of public institutions in presenting work. Not that we imagine it came easy. There were no doubt tears and a bit of pushing and shoving to get there, but the four artists (Simon Denny, Alicia Frankovich, Kate Newby and Sriwhana Spong) and the Auckland Art Gallery have all certainly delivered the goods. A shame the identity design and marketing collateral seem to come from another planet.
It also turned out that we were absolutely right when we predicted that the Auckland Art Gallery would never let Kate Newby ‘pour concrete over their new wooden floors.’ Two steps inside the gallery space and we discover the floors of the contemporary art space are some kind of concrete aggregate and not wood at all. Even when we’re wrong, we’re right. What’s not to love about that?
Image: Kate Newby carries her Walter’s Prize installation out onto the gallery roof with TRY TRY

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In an Auckland paint shop...

... thinking about Simon Denny. (Thanks A)


The Dowse is after a new director now that Cam McCracken is headed south to run the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. There have been some big changes under his direction and they've accelerated since curator Emma Bugden arrived. McCracken inherited some confused spaces and entrances and has only recently brought them back into clearer focus. When you add to that a fresh programme of exhibitions via Bugden - life at the Dowse was starting to look up. 
Let's hope the new director keeps the place heading in the same sort of direction. In its fractured history (of which we played a part: Jim was director from 1976-1980) the Dowse has see-sawed at the changing passions and whims of the individual directors. Its audience has been tossed around between craft gallery, art gallery a Te Papa type local community museum and now a more stable version of an expansive contemporary art museum. And of course the collections reflect this erratic path. Little wonder it recently needed yet a further rebranding (Dowse Art Gallery –> New Dowse –> Dowse Art Museum) during McCracken’s tenure
With new energy around craft and contemporary art and more innovative digital outreach, the Dowse could build an important national role and excite its local community. What the Dowse doesn't need is another change in direction or another attempt at mimicking Te Papa (people, you need bigger budgets than the Hutt is ever going to have to do that).
Apparently applications have closed so a decision can't be too far away.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Warning to auction houses

On Trade me at the moment this waterfall entry into the fake McCahon stakes. Auction houses can put it on their have-you-seen-this-painting files for when it comes back one day complete with signature. (thanks P)

One day at the TV studio

Producer 1: I was at an art gallery yesterday.
Producer 2: Really!
P1: Yes, I was getting out of the rain. But I did see the most incredible thing.
P2 What?
P1: There was this young blonde behind the desk and she completely ignored me…even when I told her who I was.
P2: You’re kidding
P1: Then, can you believe this, she answered the phone said, “it’s 3.5 million dollars.” And yawned.
P2: Yawned? She actually yawned?
P1: Absolutely. And I thought, what a great reality tv show that would make.
P2: Blondes yawning?
P1: No, young women trying to make it in the art world as dealers.
P2: You've lost me
P1: OK, let's go through it step-by-step. One, they're all great looking. Two, they're blonde. I did mention that didn't I??
P2: Yes... and?
P1: And they'll be doing cool stuff, like going round the city looking at artist studios
P2: In high heels?
P1: Absolutely in high heels, wobbling around and making funny comments about getting paint on their Pradas, doing photo shoots with hot young artists and going to great parties with celebrities. Like, you know, learning how hard life can be and, how whatever, friends are the most important thing of all.
P2: And they'll do all this without going on and on about art will they?
P1: Well they'll have to do some art talk... just enough to give the show some edge.
P2: We’d need a hot series name for the show. Something that subtly puts together the fact that they're girls and that they're going to try and run a gallery.
P1: I'm thinking .... Gallery Girls?
P2: I've said it before, and now I'll say it again. You’re a genius.
Image: Gallery Girls starts screening today on the Bravo channel in the US. The cast from left to right Chantal, Claudia, Kerri  Liz, Maggie, Amy and Angela. Join them on Facebook

More excellent GG stuff here. (Thanks D) 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Meanwhile, on the 3rd floor

The moment when art becomes elevator side advertising for Dr Kim

Getting art off the fifth floor: the first 12 years

March 2000
Prime Minister Helen Clark is critical of how Te Papa displays its art and orders a review. In July the review recommends a new art exhibition area. Philanthropist Denis Adam and architect Ian Athfield propose reorganising Te Papa to accommodate a national art gallery and remodelling the nearby Odlins Building for more exhibition space. (Source: Dominion Post)
Te Papa converts the library space on the fifth floor into dedicated art spaces. (Source: Ministry for Culture &Heritage)
November 2005
UN Studio is a winner in the Waitangi Park design competition set up by the Wellington City Council. The brief was far-reaching but one element was for a 3,500 square meter building to be used an extension of the public exhibition space available to Te Papa. 'The concept for the two floors is a focus on "the contemporary" - primarily contemporary art and visual culture but with a breadth of view over contemporary ideas, popular culture, and including contemporary Mäori and Pacific art, and extending to fashion and design.' (Source: Dominion Post)
The long-term exhibition Toi Te Papa: Art of the Nation opens. Its display of Te Papa's collections is claimed as "a major rethink of the museum’s presentation of art." (Source: Ministry for Culture &Heritage)
July 2010
Te Papa closes its outdoor sculpture court.
November 2010
Te Papa's new chairman Wira Gardiner throws his weight behind building a $100 million art gallery to house the museum's collection. "I'm in a position as chair of Te Papa to move it forward expeditiously. We're engaged in that discussion and as far as I'm concerned, if we can line all the ducks up, I see no reason why we can't press on." (Source: Dominion Post)

“Prime Minister John Key says the Government doesn’t have $1 million to build a new national art gallery.... But we have an indication of one or two very wealthy philanthropists who may be interested in putting money into that venture...” (Source: 3News)

March 2011

"The board has made the decision that if private interests want to pursue it [a new National Art Gallery], they can, and if they later want to approach us to use some of the collection, that's another matter – but from a board point of view, we're getting on with our vision." Te Papa Chair Sir Wira Gardiner (Source: DominionPost)
September 2011
Te Papa focus groups to “explore and discuss ideas and concepts that Te Papa has about the re-development of our art exhibitions on level five.” (Source: Over the net)
August 2012
“In March 2013, the Level 5 Gallery space will be re-launched as part of a new model to show more of Te Papa's art collection, more often, through a dynamic exhibition programme.” Michael Houlihan, Chief Executive at Te Papa
August 2012
A working party led by Museum Hotel’s Chris Parkin and including Te Papa’s Kaihautu Michelle Hippolite, Property developer Mark Dunaitchik, and Wellington Waterfront’s Ian Pike, is working on the project.... Reliable sources say that  $50 million has already been promised for what the group is currently calling the Museum of Contemporary Art.  It is thought that includes $35 million from Dunaitchik.  (Source: Capital Times)
“This [more art being seen at Te Papa] might have happened earlier as Te Papa’s former director Seddon Bennington, had been determined to get more works on display. His death had been a huge hold up with everything being put on the back burner.” (Seddon Bennington was CE of Te Papa for six years and died in 2009) Mary Kisler Senior Curator AAG on secondment to Te Papa (Source: Capital Times)
Image: Un Studio’s design for what has become known as the ‘Transition Building’.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

La La La

If you’re fascinated by the machinations of art museums you'll have been hanging out for news of the latest spills-and-thrills from MOCA in Los Angeles. 

The short version is that the Museum hired Jeffrey Deitch (a very successful and highly regarded ex-dealer gallery owner) as Director in a bid to transform the financially and audience-challenged institution. He came in with populist guns blazing and raised attendances with exhibitions such as Street Art and some provocative celebrity intrusions. 

Then he fired/let go the senior curator Paul Schimmel and all hell broke loose. Board members (including all the artist members – Baldessari, Kruger, Ruscha et al.) resigned furious at the swing toward entertainment at the expense of art and ex-directors put the boot in. Now in a not so subtle move in troubled times MOCA is mounting the event Songs on Conceptual Art on 11 August. It features a number of young artists doing versions of an influential John Baldessari video in which he sings Sol LeWitt's 35 Sentences on Conceptual Art

The LA Times art critic calls it a “gentle jab”. Maybe it's just bad timing but as the museum has relented and agreed to hire another senior curator (the plan was not to bother) the general feeling is it should probably put all jabbing action on hold for the time being. 

Image: Jeffrey Deitch (left). You can get a fuller picture of the whole sorry story here

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gow Langsford finishes its first quarter

We've just heard that the Gow Langsford Gallery is 25 years old today. That's got to be a good thing and not an easy one when you look at the dealer gallery record. They have certainly given us some great exhibition experiences over the years.

Here's a brief history from them.

 "The gallery was established in a converted gas station in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn in 1987. The premises added new meaning to the expression that it was started on the smell of an oily rag. Although not entirely humble beginnings (oysters were served at the grand opening) the gallery reportedly almost didn’t get off the ground. Just weeks after the opening the share market crashed; a turbulent event that would, years on, prove to be just one of many art market hurdles to overcome. Yet more than 400 exhibitions, seven gallery spaces, twenty-odd art fairs, a seemingly innumerable number of artists and staff, a few weddings and one funeral later - this month Gow Langsford is celebrating a landmark twenty five years."

Image: the first Gow Langsford gallery in Grey Lynn, now a Buddhist Centre we think.(Pic Gow/Langsford)

Art in the workplace

Art hard at work in the foyers of the world

Art at the movies

Over the years we have looked at many of the moments when art has starred in the movies. Below is a full collection of links if you want to check any you missed out on or (blush) want to read again. The portraits above are a collection of actors playing the artist. Who those artists are is revealed here on OTN Stuff.