They’re at it again. Bond no 9 have just sent us details on their latest Warhol perfume. It came along with nifty Andy quotes like “My favorite smell is the first smell of spring in New York,” and “Another way to take up more space is with perfume.” Above, the rather overwrought colour scheme that brings you the new scent. So, if you want to smell like New York, go here.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
A press release just in announces that the Auckland Art Gallery is ready to roll on its new building extension.
“Signature gallery closes its doors for a picture perfect upgrade. Councillor Noelene Raffills, Auckland Art Gallery board chairperson, says Auckland City Council’s signature gallery is one of the city’s most beautiful historic buildings, but is not up to today’s modern standards for art museums.”
Signature gallery? Odd description. Still, the Auckland Art Gallery should have fun making friends with all the other Signature Galleries in the world.
The Signature Gallery
The Signature Gallery
The Signature Gallery Laguna
The Kinkade Signature Gallery
The Signature Gallery in Savannah
The Signature Gallery
The Michael Gibbons Signature Gallery
Image: The Signature Gallery, Savannah
Last week we asked Creative New Zealand for the list of artists and curators who had applied for the Venice Biennale project. These projects have now gone into CNZ’s evaluation and selection processes.
The response from CNZ was a two-page 12 point letter in legalese refusing to make the list public. Their reasoning? “It is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons… and this interest is not outweighed by other considerations which render it desirable, in the public interest, to make that information available”.
We have become very interested in ‘the public interest’ and CNZ’s interpretation of the idea. We’re no lawyers but it seems to us that they are arguing that the ‘privacy of natural persons’ overrides any rights the wider public might have to information. And that they are using this argument repeatedly. We recall that they declined to give us any information about the experience of their expert arts advisors last year. They said it was to protect their privacy while we figured there was ’public interest’ in understanding what their expertise was to do the job. It was the same story with the Tripofalifetime reports.
We believe that there is a clear public interest in the Venice artist/curator list. It is a perfect opportunity to have some conversations about what they may be proposing, how they might be regarded in the Venice context, who has not submitted a proposal, and why etc. All the usual exchanges that make for an engaged and committed art community. Set this against CNZ’s insistence that it will protect the privacy of these ‘natural persons’ and the argument turns bizarre (to anyone but a lawyer). Anyone who is in the running for Venice will inevitably have experienced unsuccessful applications, projects that have fallen over and other disappointments. It seems hardly credible that they will recoil in shame over non-selection.
As we have already noted, the selection panel for the upcoming Biennale is considerably older than in previous years. While the previous panel could have been described as largely people actively involved with contemporary art, this one - not so much.
We will continue to pursue the list through formal channels, but in the meantime we have confirmed 5 of the 16 artists along with their curators through less formal means. In the public interest then, if you are part of an application or you know who is, email us. When we have close to the full list we will publish it.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The Art Newspaper has released its annual report on most visited museums and exhibitions for the year. Alan Gibbs, whose sculpture farm exhibits one of sculptor Richard Serra’s masterpieces, won’t be surprised to know the artists survey exhibition at MoMA was the 4th highest attended in the world last year. Top place went to the Tokyo Museums The Mind of Leonardo (Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation, on loan from the Uffizi in Florence, attracted 10,071 visitors a day for 3 months) followed by Tokyo’s National Art Centre with Monet’s Art and Posterity. Top attended museums for the year? The Louvre 8,300,000 The Centre Pompidou 5,509,425 and Tate Modern at 5,191,840. Let’s hear it for contemporary art.
Read the full list here
Posted by jim and Mary at 8:12 AM
Francis Upritchard’s residency in New Plymouth may be drawing to a close but these pages of images by her father E A Upritchard are a bonus for fans. Yes, they may look like something by John Baldessari but they are in fact from Upritchard’s book A Guide to the Identification of New Zealand Common Weeds in Colour. Francis told us that her father helped her make work in his Christchurch garage. Looking at this pen and weed work, maybe it’s time for him to break out on his own.
Click on image to enlarge
Posted by jim and Mary at 7:03 AM
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The Auckland Art Gallery is up and blogging with an early entry about relocating the research library. Our test for great blogs is how personal are they? Do they have a point of view? Did they tell us something new – and relevant? AAG have called theirs Outpost. That’s a start but here’s hoping it gets more opinionated, more inside-out and eases up on the process stuff. After all an Outpost is “A detachment of troops stationed at a distance from a main force.” One comment we liked in the rather long description of the library relocation, “During the pack-up, we found all sorts of intriguing items including a newspaper from 1974 that had an article on how Mick Jagger was still touring at the ripe old age of 31!” How about a picture?
Image: Mick Jagger at 31
Monday, February 25, 2008
We’ve always enjoyed the work of young artists and one of the youngest we have in our collection turns 12 on Friday. An OTN cap for the first email received after 3 am Tuesday morning with the name in the subject line.
Image: the OTN cap. Now available in black
unvarnished facts, reckless guesswork, insinuations and possible inventions that have arrived at firstname.lastname@example.org. three new zealand artists have been selected for the liverpool biennial. greg burke is to marry canadian artist christine davis. olafur eliasson was recently in new zealand to repair his fountain on alan gibbs’ farm. read about tony oursler’s trip to the farm here. mr mane-wheoki of te papa is to be doctored by his old university in christchurch on 18 april. whangarei is to build a hundertwasser museum which the mayor says will be a catalyst for the city’s regeneration. aaron kreisler has taken over from justin paton in dunedin but the director’s position remains unadvertised. the stolen mccahon cross sold by dunbar sloane is not in te papa-published mccahon database. mike stevenson’s exhibition persepolis 2530, on show in bristol’s arnolfini, gallery was well reviewed by the guardian’s elizabeth mahoney. any missed details, indignant denials or additions gratefully received, and the one with the most outlandish embellishment- rewarded.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
"The trend is viewed with consternation by many in the museum community. These new institutions are often erratic in their governance, especially in their early years when their often restless founders are still around; the lines between the private and public interest are frequently blurred."
The Art Newspaper describing Public... whoops sorry, we mean private museums.
Image: Art Newspaper editor wagging finger at bad museums
Posted by jim and Mary at 6:08 PM
Thought you would want to see this pic of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil being struck by lightning a few weeks back. This is public sculpture supersized, 4 meters tall and 700 tons of reinforced concrete.
Friday, February 22, 2008
It had to happen. Chimps, elephants, turtles, snails (almost) and now pricks. Australian Tim ("call me Pricasso") Patch, is a global sex fair entertainer on the look-out for cultural capital. This year he is stepping up to the plate and entering the Archibald Prize, Australia's anachronistic portrait competition. We expect him to be shafted by the committee, but we'll keep you posted.
This from the Guardian. “From the beaches of southern England to the thoroughfares of London, the fightback against “bad” public sculpture in the UK has begun. In recent years an unprecedented number of tasteless statues (with the rare exception, such as works by Antony Gormley) have appeared across the country.
Now Tim Knox, director of Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, has attacked the “epidemic of these Frankenstein monster memorials”.
Images: Top, ugly UK public sculpture. Bottom, not ugly UK British public sculpture
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Opening tonight at the Museum of Wellington City and Sea is the exhibition The Gallery of Helen Hitchings: from Fretful Sleeper to Art World Giant. Hitchings opened the first dealer gallery in Wellington at 39 Bond Street in 1949 and encouraged Les Paris, among others, to pursue his interest in art. The gallery closed after a couple of years but Hitchings, in a massive effort, took a bunch of paintings to the UK and exhibited them in London’s Irving Galleries in June 1952. The artists included Colin McCahon, Rita Angus, Louise Henderson and Toss Woollaston. Why are we telling you this? Because four months later, in October 1952, Mad Magazine started publishing and while it was to be many years before American culture impacted on New Zealand art, Mad sure helped kick the door open. Looking at the international exhibitions of some of our public art museums, it will probably take even longer to convince the old guard that the England of Henry Moore and Constable is not still home. To show what we’ve been missing, enjoy all the Mad Magazine covers we could find that featured art. And, as you can see, by the 60s, even Mad Magazine had turned its head from Europe to home.
Posted by jim and Mary at 7:55 AM
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
A reader has just commented that the main difference between the newly announced CNZ panel to select an artist for Venice and the last one is that the average age has moved from around 40 to 60 years old. Looks like Greg Burke comes in as the youngster at 50.
We’d planned to amalgamate the Sweepstake entries, but as this top-five came in what seemed like only seconds after we posted, we decided eagerness should be rewarded.
Michael Parekowhai (with Justin Paton)
Billy Apple (with Tina Barton)
Gavin Hipkins (with Heather Galbraith)
Yvonne Todd (with Robert Leonard)
Bill Hammond (with Justin Paton)
And now, received from CNZ the list of people who will meet to decide who will go to Venice.
Alastair Carruthers (Chair CNZ Arts Council)
Jenny May (CNZ Arts Council)
Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (Director Art and Collection Services Te Papa)
Greg Burke (curator and gallery director)
Jenny Gibbs (art collector and patron)
Jenny Harper (gallery Director)
Robert Jahnke (artist)
Caroline Vercoe (Senior Lecturer, Art History Department, Auckland University)
You might like to compare this list with the panel that selected etal.
Tobias Berger (Gallery Director)
Jenny Gibbs(art collector and patron)
Paula Savage (Gallery Director)Director of City Gallery)
Allan Smith (Lecturer in painting, Auckland University)
William McAloon (curator)
Felicity Milburn (Curator)
Tina Barton (Curator and Senior Lecturer in Art History at Victoria University)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
“Fewer than half of the modern and contemporary artists listed in a Christie's or Sotheby's catalogue 25 years ago are now offered at any major auction.
“Of the 1,000 artists who had serious gallery shows in London and New York during the 1980s, only 20 were still being shown in comparable venues in 2007.”
John Preston reviews The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art and Auction Houses by Don Thompson in the New York Times
By now you must have seen the chocolate ad on TV where the visitors to the “Louvre” get to eat the arms of the Venus de Milo. The Venus de Milo is quite closely modelled on the real thing as is, bar the poppy eyes, the Mona Lisa. Next to the “Mona Lisa” are a couple of more contemporary paintings, something you are unlikely to come across in the Mona Lisa Gallery, as you would have noted in the pic posted here last week of people photographing the armour glass covered painting. Having said that, the combination of recent works with early ones, is not unheard of at the Musée du Louvre. In 1947 Picasso was asked to exhibit his work in the Grande Galerie and Braque did that ceiling painting everyone always talks about. More recently people like Jacques Derrida, Peter Greenaway and Julia Kristeva were invited to curate exhibitions in the famous museum. Then there was a series of shows curated by Régis Michel, Conservateur en chef at the Musée du Louvre, including the exhibition La Peinture comme Crime (Painting as Crime) in 2001. The title was taken from a manifesto proposed by the Actionist Schwarzkogler who died leaping from a window in emulation of Yves Klein's Leap into the Void. Even more to the point, the Louvre’s own website says, “Exhibits interspersed with contemporary artworks aim to stimulate fresh approaches to the Louvre's hallowed heritage collection.” Maybe those chocolate guys are more with the programme than we thought.
Monday, February 18, 2008
We are hanging out for museums to start blogging. What fun it will be. Unfortunately, apart from a couple of false starts (Adam Gallery and Litmus), it has been very quiet on the blog front, well silent really. From the Govett-Brewster, who you might have expected to lead the charge, "Through programmes that extend beyond its walls, the Gallery also aims to foster the development and interpretation of contemporary art by developing new audiences and new possibilities for artists within contemporary culture," - not a peep. But wait, action might be closer than we thought. The Auckland Art Gallery has made its first baby steps. We are hanging out for an invite. When we get the key to the door we'll let you all in.
Thanks again C. For information like that we'll come cap in hand.
The latest issue of Parkett arrived in the weekend. The next issue will offer an artist edition by Pavel Althamer. We had never heard of Pavel so imagine our delight, as art inflatable fans, to find out he made the beauty pictured above.
Image: Pavel Althamer 2007 (21 x 6.71 x 3.66 meters)
One of our regular readers has insisted we hold an overthenet sweepstake on who will represent New Zealand at the next Venice biennale. So, as CNZ nominations closed last Friday, let’s get started. There’s a free overthenet cap (yes, it’s in production) and possibly something even grander, for the best top 5 list of artists who are most likely to be selected. To kick things off, here’s the one sent in by the RR.
Bill Culbert (with or without Ralph Hotere)
RR also added McCahon and Len Lye, but as we say, list 5 artists.
To add to the mix we will ask CNZ for all the nominations they have received.
Image: the lucky winner (simulation).
Saturday, February 16, 2008
The Liverpool arts company Brouhaha International has finally been charged, along with artist Maurice Agis, two years after their inflatable sculpture Dreamspace broke its moorings killing two people and injuring 13 others. The company Brouhahha is owned by the artists son and was created for him by Agis who described it as “surreal, magic, like swimming in a sea of changing colours”. You can read the original story here.
Image: Clockwise from top left, Dreamscape breaks loose
Friday, February 15, 2008
Our Lifestyle reporter has identified the beginnings of another gallery trend. This time it’s the introduction of parties into the gallery entertainment mix. The Adam Gallery offers a party instead of the usual opening tonight, and next week the City Gallery follows up its Festival offering opening with, you guessed it, a ‘post-opening party’.
If you zip over here you can listen to …
Rob Cherry, art consultant: [When I was working there] “there was this talk about having to compete with other forms of entertainment. ‘What are people doing? They’re playing on PlayStations, they’re going to the movies. No-one’s coming to the museum. How can we change that?”’And I just couldn’t believe it. A museum has to provide an alternative to that sort of entertainment, not compete with it.”
Chris Saines, Director of the Auckland Art Gallery: “It’s bringing people into museums who otherwise might not have had cause to go into them.”
Seddon Bennington, CE of Te Papa: “Te Papa has really achieved the best of both worlds.”
… on the link Te Papa Turns Ten. They are discussing ‘Does our national Arts gallery fulfil its role?’ on Kathryn Ryan’s Wednesday edition of Nine to Noon.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
You could be excused for thinking this was a Paris/Britney Press-panic. The Paris part is on track, but you’d be wrong about the blondes. The dark haired woman they are photographing is altogether older. Taken by one of our readers a couple of weeks ago, this is a camera feeding frenzy in front of the Mona Lisa on show in the Louvre.
Image: Brian Joseph
Posted by jim and Mary at 12:06 PM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Starkwhite has pulled the Quinella for this year’s Basel Art Fair. We have already mentioned that SW gallery artist Dane Mitchell has been invited to join the Art Statements exhibition, a selection that was impressive in its own right. Now Starkwhite has been asked to exhibit et al. in Art Unlimited, the über exhibition that runs as part of the Basel Art Fair. Last year’s Art Unlimited included New Zealander Michael Stevenson’s installation Persepolis 2530. Art Unlimited is presented by the Art Fair as “a hall of larger works... and more like an exhibition.” Over the years it has featured many of the world’s leading artists. et al’s. selection comes after Starkwhite director, John McCormack, visited the last Basel Art Fair. Initially selected for the Tripofalifetime tour, McCormack resigned the position and chose to travel on his own dime. CNZ has yet to announce who they intend to fund for this year’s Basel Art Fair.
Images: Top showing the scale of the Art Statements and Art Unlimited exhibition space. Bottom, detail of Michael Stevenson’s installation Persepolis 2530 in Art Unlimited 2007
Posted by jim and Mary at 7:05 AM
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The latest news magazine on the Corrections Department’s Web site has this natty pic of Auckland Art Gallery curator Ron Brownson and the Hon. Judith Tizard participating in a “Walk of Art” to view artworks donated by prisoners to the Auckland Hospital.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Here’s something for all you lovers of trainers replicated in card. Ricky Swallow is no longer your only port of call. Check out this paper Puma by Mike Leavitt
Images: Left, Puma by Mike Leavitt. Right, Ricky Swallow Together is the new alone 2002
Ok, we did start the animal art thing and, sure, we did stoop to turtles. But readers sending in random pictures of animals they think might be making art, or even worse, animals that are just considering making art, is taking things too far. Take this “painting snail” emailed to us in the weekend. That’s not even a brush in its mouth. It looks more like a twig or maybe a blade of grass. There is nothing about this picture that makes us think that this snail is at all creative beyond the usual snail skill set. It is hard enough as it is promoting animal art, without this kind of reckless contribution by people who should know better.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Jeff Koons has a lot to answer for. His Puppy, constructed out of a steel frame covered with flowers has mutated to Ella a steel frame covered with peaches. The Koons puppy was exhibited in Sydney, and that’s where Ella is exhibited too. Life follows art, well advertising does anyway. Ella, the peach person, is 5 meters high and 12 meters long. It was inspired by someone called Jolene Anderson who apparently has a commitment to healthy skin. Yes, there is a video.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Billy Apple’s billboard roadshow arrived in Wellington with a launch at the City Gallery a couple of days ago. So now the Lush boards are to be on display in the Capital, here’s a question. How do you think Billy would respond to an attack by graffiti artists - Appleplexy? Or maybe like super-cool Japanese artist Murakami. When graffiti was sprawled across one of his giant LA billboards recently, Murakami asked for the billboard be taken down… and sent to his studio in Japan to become part of his art collection! He thought the changes made to the billboard were “So wonderful.”
This was emailed to punters from the Auckland Art Gallery shop yesterday.
“Be in to win a $100 Gallery Shop Gift Voucher for Valentine’s Day!
Just email us at email@example.com (by 5pm on Tuesday 12th February 2008) and tell us if you think our new giftware range is:
B. Pretty Good
D. Rather Not Say”
Other multi-choice options could be …
A. Beyond all expectations – Brilliant!
B. Gee, I don’t know
C. Not so much
D. This is anonymous, right?
Image: Proposed action figures of Auckland Art Gallery Admin staff (Prototype only). Our response? C
Thursday, February 07, 2008
This from the latest edition of Toi Te Papa Art received today outlining what we can expect..
“A YEAR OF RESEARCH … and a modest upgrade of the McCahon website which has been in the planning stages for the past two years will be undertaken.”
Apart from the mistakes already noted we would think that the database needs a determined overhaul rather than a modest upgrade. The essays promised from the beginning have never surfaced, the information on each work, when it exists, is embarrassing and even the few sample mistakes pointed out on otn remain uncorrected. Keep an eye on our Modestly-Slouching -Towards-Upgrading clock on the top left hand side of the blog. We’ve set it at two years and counting.
Guess we all know what we think of the public art galleries, but what do they think of themselves? This from their home pages.
"Auckland Art Gallery has the most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand. Exhibiting work from its collection along with a programme of national and international touring exhibitions."
Dunedin Public Art Gallery: "One of New Zealand’s finest art museums, showcasing the best of local, national and international art."
"The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is a museum that fosters the development and interpretation of contemporary art."
TheNewDowse: "This is a place that inspires creativity - from multi-media to ceramics, jewellery to sculpture, painting to furniture design and beyond. Whoever you are, wherever you come from, TheNewDowse will stimulate your creativity and make you see the world in a whole new way!"
The Adam Art Gallery: "To lead critical debate in visual art."
"City Gallery Wellington is a dynamic cultural presence in the capital city of Aotearoa New Zealand."
"Te Manawa is a regional cultural centre where art, heritage and science themes dominate."
Christchurch Art Gallery: "Specializes in New Zealand art with an emphasis on work from the Canterbury region."
Posted by jim and Mary at 7:19 AM
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
It’s Waitangi Day, so what better than to settle back and play Donald Judd, or Cheap Furniture? a game by Graydon Parrish and Mikhail Simkin
As you will see from this link some of the photos displayed show furniture, created by sculptor Donald Judd, the others are photos of ordinary cheap furniture. We’re pleased to be able to tell you our regular Judd correspondent scored a perfect 12 out of 12. Thanks, and well done J.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
This 1916 cowboy scene by WHD Koerner (1878-1938) is apparently George W Bush’s favourite painting. For some reason Bush tells people it is a picture of missionaries and has renamed it A Charge to Keep. In fact it is called The Slippery Tongue, and was originally published as an illustration for a short story about a thief in The Saturday Evening Post in 1916
If you’re up to it, Koerner’s studio can be visited at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center's Whitney Museum of Western Art in Cody, Wyoming.
Anyone got thoughts on the fave paintings for Clinton, Obama, McCain, Romney and Huckabee? Glittering prizes.
Sources: Salon and Guardian
Posted by jim and Mary at 12:16 PM
Weta, Te Papa and the World of Wearable Art Awards are the triumvirate that have made Wellington a centre for the art form Mardi Gras modern. However, once again, the Welly mix of bling, artifice, stretched metaphor and fantasy contrivance have been eclipsed by the vernacular spirit of the Sevens. Guys in gowns, themed teams and “Hey I’ve got an idea. Why don’t the three of us go as a couch?” prove that once and for all, when it comes to imagination and “our story”, authenticity rules.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
By now you will all know that Creative New Zealand has finally come up with a watered-down version of the decision they made after the first time they commissioned a report. So, we will have an official presence at Venice at the next biennale and at future ones so-long-as-some-one-else-pays-for-it. In the meantime we have been plugging away at getting access to the reports of the Tripofalifetime members. The Ombudsman’s Office agreed to follow up our request and asked CNZ to release the documents. CNZ eventually responded, by claiming that their release of the overall report meant there no longer any need (as if they had ever agreed there was a need in the first place!). So we have asked the Ombudsman, and she has agreed, to make the request again. We will keep you posted.
This week was the 50th anniversary of Lego. It was invented in Copenhagen on Jan. 28, 1958. A search for Lego in overthenet’s search box will show our own devotion to the brilliant brick.
Images: Left, Lego Beuys. Right, his work The Pack 1969 as created by the Little Artists.
Friday, February 01, 2008
Anyone who lives in Wellington knows that since the invention of Rob Cherry no one in the city has retained the ability to hang anything straight on a wall. The knowledge, once fairly common with people who owned art, has been lost. If you need something hung straight it’s Rob or the highway. It’s the same story in Springfield. In the Simpson’s episode illustrated above (The Twisted World of Marge Simpson, written by Jennifer Crittenden, directed by Chuck Sheetz and first screened 19 January 1997) Marge attends a franchising pitch. The business? Picture Perfect - straight-up picture hanging to-go.
Posted by jim and Mary at 6:57 AM