Monday, September 20, 2010

Déjà vu all over again

We gave a talk to a group of Masters students at Elam last week in Auckland and one of the questions sent in ahead of time was, “When will Contemporary Painters N-Z come out?" It’s not the first time we have been asked that question, and not even the first time this year, but when we asked the group if they'd even heard of the book, none of them had. The question must have come from a grizzled member of staff. 

We've posted on the artist-in-studio-syndrome before and for anyone (your ranks are thinning) who is still interested, go here and here. When the book of Marti Friedlander’s photographs with our text was published around 30 years ago, there were very few magazines or places you could find out about contemporary artists. That's all changed dramatically with both the web and the current publishing weather bomb we are experiencing. So given all this, imagine our surprise to come across son-of -contemporary-painters in Parsons bookshop last week. It's called Artists @ Work with photographs by Stephen Robinson and writing by Richard Wolfe. Five of the artists in CNZP1 (Brown, Frizzell, Killeen, Harris and McLeod – all presumably looking 30 years older) are included here, but none of the 17 who were to be in CNZP2. One big change is that a third of the artists at work are women (a lot better than CNZP1 managed) and it includes sculptors.