We’ve seen a fair bit of art shipped in and out over the years from the weighty (a work on paper by Colin McCahon in a crate so large and so heavy it filled our living room for six days while we struggled to get the public art museum that had sent the damn thing to remove it) to a light handed truckload of works by Don Driver. They arrived at the Dowse in the 1970s for an exhibition on the back of a flat-bed covered with a tarp. You guessed it, the tarp turned out to be one of the works put to work itself by the driver (small d).
A couple of days ago at CalArts in Pasadena waiting to watch NZer Sean Grattan’s film HADHAD, we were put to work along with Fiona Connor by artist and faculty member Darcy Huebler. A truck that looked to be the length of a football field had turned up with a bunch of her paintings. The driver was a laconic Texan from Houston who guided his monster up winding drives and around tight corners to back it into an undersized loading bay and unload three kinda small paintings.
Art transport has come a long way from the days when we moved the sixteen panels of Colin McCahon’s Second Gate series by wrapping them in rugs, leaning them against the wall of a hired van and keeping someone in the back to make sure they didn’t topple. Nowadays of course they’d be in a number of huge heavy crates and probably too expensive to travel to anything but major shows. Things change.