Thursday, August 16, 2012

Prize winning exhibition

The first thing you notice about the Walters Prize (after the observation that it’s definitely one of the best-looking ones so far) is the finish. All the installations are presented in constructed spaces that artists of the past could only have dreamed about.
Indeed the quality of the installations is on an obsession rating up there with Billy Apple.  And of course it’s artists like Billy who have prepared the way so that this kind of quality can be expected of public institutions in presenting work. Not that we imagine it came easy. There were no doubt tears and a bit of pushing and shoving to get there, but the four artists (Simon Denny, Alicia Frankovich, Kate Newby and Sriwhana Spong) and the Auckland Art Gallery have all certainly delivered the goods. A shame the identity design and marketing collateral seem to come from another planet.
It also turned out that we were absolutely right when we predicted that the Auckland Art Gallery would never let Kate Newby ‘pour concrete over their new wooden floors.’ Two steps inside the gallery space and we discover the floors of the contemporary art space are some kind of concrete aggregate and not wood at all. Even when we’re wrong, we’re right. What’s not to love about that?
Image: Kate Newby carries her Walter’s Prize installation out onto the gallery roof with TRY TRY