Sunday, December 11, 2011

Harry Watson: That Was Then, This Is Now

An exhibition of past and recent work by Page Blackie Gallery Artist Harry Watson is now on at Aratoi Museum of Art and History, Wairarapa.

Harry creates animal, feathered and human protagonists (often based on real historical figures) that often recreate their dramas against the backdrop of a fledgling colonial society. Melding Maori and Pakeha techniques and traditions, Harry explores the social history and politics of Aoteroa in ways that are at once quirky and thought-provoking.

Harry Watson: That Was Then, This Is Now runs at Aratoi Museum of Art and History, Wairarapa until the 11th of March 2012.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Karl Maughan exhibition opening - Tuesday 6th Dec

Karl Maughan's new exhibition opens tomorrow evening from 5:30pm. Come along and meet the artist. And in the meantime, contact the Gallery for further details.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dick Frizzell: Images in an artist's heart

There are some surprises in Frizzell's choice of paintings, writes Peter Simpson

Book review: It's All About The Image by Dick Frizzell (Godwit $65)

It's hard to avoid Dick Frizzell these days; whether it is paintings or wine or T-shirts or books or items on TV and in magazines - he is all over the place. Perhaps he is this generation's equivalent of what Peter McIntyre was in the post-war decades, an artist with a popular style who parlayed his popularity into a range of other activities such as best-selling books.

As it happens, McIntyre has a role to play in Frizzell's latest venture, a collection of 100 of his favourite New Zealand paintings. In his chatty introduction he recalls as a lad in Hawke's Bay watching McIntyre working on a mural in the Hastings War Memorial Library.

"He painted some small rocks on the desert sand at the feet of the soldiers and, with what seemed like just a couple of brushstrokes, he rendered the texture of the rock, the sun on the rock, the reflected light on the shady side of the rock, and the shadow of the rock on the sand. The entire universe right there. With a brush and some paint, I've been trying to be that clever ever since."

McIntyre's kind of art has long been out of favour with many sophisticated art followers, but that is no barrier to his being lauded by Frizzell who revels in the manifestations of popular culture which he has so successfully appropriated for his own art.

Frizzell's favourites include a fair number of artists who are not now rated highly by the experts, such as Cedric Savage, Nugent Welsh, Archibald Nicoll and Austen Deans - all landscape painters it may be noted, a style of art that Frizzell has done a good deal to rehabilitate through his own accomplished practice (though landscape is far from being his only mode). Read More

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Israel Birch opens new exhibition Ara-i-te-uru at City Gallery Wellington


26 November 2011 - 12 February 2012 in the Deane Gallery

In te ao Māori (the Māori worldview) myth and actuality are a tangled tale. Often difficult to reconcile in contemporary times, elements of te ao tipua (the supernatural world) continue to be central to the beliefs of many Māori communities today. In recent decades such beliefs have become a source of confusion creating tension between customary expectations and contemporary sensibilities.

Ara-i-te-uru is a major new sculptural installation by artist Israel Tangaroa Birch which looks at these intersections between mythology and ideology, where legend becomes legacy. Referencing some of the major collaborative works created by Ralph Hotere and Bill Culbert, such as Aramoana–Pathway to the Sea (1991) and Blackwater (1999), Birch uses light and shadow to explore relationships between things in the physical world of te ao mārama (the world of light) and their metaphysical counterparts in te pō (the world of darkness). Read more

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

'One Hand' explores the world of Zen Buddhism


The forth exhibit in the Andy Warhol Museum's Word of God Series, Max Gimblett's 'The Sound of One Hand' brings to focus the world of Zen Buddhism.

An artist living and working in New York City since 1972, Gimblett has been focuing on Buddhisim since 1965 when he first encountered pet and novelist Kenneth Patchen's (1911-1972) painted "picture poems" in San Francisco.

"It has never been the main focus," Gimblett, 75, says, admittedly "sharing my interests equally with Jungian studies and the history of visual art, particularly painting." But a serious interest in Buddhism was so much a draw that, "I took my vows in 2006 and am a lay monk of Rinzai Buddhism."That goes a long way in explaining why the works on view have an overall zen-like quality, especially the earlier brushworks on paper that date as far back as the 1980s. Here, the work is distinctly divided into two types -- enso and koan paintings.

Simple ink brush drawings of circles on rice paper, the enso pieces are a good place to start in terms of entering Gimblett's world. Enso is a Japanese word meaning "circle" and is a concept strongly associated with Zen. "Enso is a common subject of Japanese calligraphy, symbolizing the universe, strength and Enlightenment," Gimblett says. "Typically drawn in one stroke with a thick paintbrush, the enso represents absolute reality and the void in Zen art."

Gimblett says that some artists will paint enso daily, "as a kind of spiritual diary." Enso is usually created on silk or rice paper. "The single stroke does not allow for any modification -- the brushed circle represents the spirit of the moment of creation," he says. "In the circle nothing stops, nothing comes to an end, it just keeps going."Read more:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Ngatai Taepa's new exhibition Colour, Value and Perspective opens on Tuesday (8 November) at Page Blackie Gallery. Contact the Gallery for further details.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Responding to the Urewera Raids - Te Manawa

"This work appears to have a strong base in Tuhoe stories, but part of its success is its ability like more traditional Maori patternmaking to open out in abstraction from a strong kernel to the universal. The title comes from a beautiful Tuhoe battle whakatauki (proverb): ‘He iti na Tuhoe, e kata te po'. One interpretation is, ‘No matter how small Tuhoe are, their laughter will be heard through the night'."

Click here to read Mark Amery's excellent review of Hemi Macgregor, Saffronn Te Ratana and Ngataiharuru Taepa's collaborative work recently shown at Te Manawa in Palmerston North

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Michael Smither Screenprints at Page Blackie Gallery

A gorgeous selection of Michael Smither Screenprints are now available at Page Blackie Gallery.

Michael Smither is one of New Zealand's most sought-after senior artists, renown for his iconic super-realist and highly coloured paintings and screenprints which capture a unique and often very personal view of his world.

Click here for more images

It's All About The Image - Dick Frizzell

Take a trip through New Zealand art history according to Dick Frizzell in his new book It's All About The Image. In the book Dick shines a light on some of the works he's always loved - a number of which have been over looked in the usual round-ups. From Peter McIntyre inviting him up onto the scaffolding to watch him painting the WWII mural in the Hastings War Memorial Library, through to discovering modern art at art school, his first sighting of a McCahon, teaching at Elam with talented students like Karl Maughan and discovering the exciting young things today. Written in Dick's self-proclaimed colloquial and relavatory style, this is a fascinating discussion of NZ art history.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

PAUL DIBBLE - The Watchers

Paul Dibble's new exhibition "The Watchers" opens tonight at Page Blackie Gallery. Contact the Gallery for further details.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Max Gimblett at the Warhol Museum

Max Gimblett is currently exhibiting an incredible new solo exhibition of his work at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Here are some installation images of the show, which runs until 27 November:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nina Gehl with Kathryn Ryan on National Radio

Click here to listen to Kathryn Ryan's interview of Nina Gehl. Nina's exhibition opens tonight 5.30pm at the gallery.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Nina Gehl preview

Photos from Nina Gehl's exhibition preview for the cast of The Hobbit last night. Come to the opening tomorrow night from 5:30pm and meet the artist. Check out page 5 of today's Dom Post and listen to Kathryn Ryan tomorrow morning at 10am to learn more about this international sensation.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mark Amery reviews Liyen Chong in the Dominion Post

Two excellent public gallery exhibitions opened over the weekend featuring Liyen Chong's work.

In Auckland

Liyen Chong: of Positions and half Positions having several marks at once
(26 August - 29th October 2011)
The Gus Fisher Gallery
The Kenneth Myers Centre
74 Shortland Street

In Wellington

Knitted and Knotted
(27th August - 20th November)
The Dowse Art Museum
45 Laings Road
Lower Hutt

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Liyen Chong - exhibition opening

Liyen Chong is an emerging artist based in Auckland with exciting horizons in her practice. Having successfully negotiated her practice around diverse disciplines of painting, graphic design and embroidery with hair she has been working on expanding her oeuvre during her time at the McCahon House. Liyen has been exploring phenomenology, Eastern thought and its implications for her art practice in New Zealand.

Having grown up in both Malaysia and China, Liyen Chong migrated to New Zealand in her mid teens and completed her MFA in Christchurch. Chong settled in Auckland in late 2005 after travelling around the world on a scholarship provided by the University of Canterbury. Since then she has exhibited widely in New Zealand and Australia and her work is present in public collections such as the Chartwell Collection and the National Gallery of Australia.

Dasein (Being There.) opens at Page Blackie Gallery at 5:30pm, Tuesday 16 August.

Contact the Gallery for more details.