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.