Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The best worst kept secret in the world

In a city where the daily newspaper selects three dead people to represent NZ's coolest artists, a story about one of the Auckland Art Gallery’s most prized possessions traveling off overseas Te Maori style is probably not going to be either above or below the fold. Still it's harder to understand why the AAG hasn’t trumpeted the news on its website specifically dedicated to the artist, or anywhere else for that matter. Most art interested people will only have only discovered via The Art Newspaper that after ten years of negotiation Udo Kittelmann, curator (he did the recent Martin Kippenberger survey in Berlin last year) and director of the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, has secured the loans from the AAG for a big exhibition of Gottfried Lindauer. The plan is for it to kick off its tour at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin in November.

The Czech city of Plzen where Lindauer was born also claims its West Bohemian Gallery is putting a Lindauer survey together. This one is co-curated by Roman Musil with  45 works approved for loan by the AAG. We figure this is the same exhibition as it opens in Plzen in Spring 2015.

According to The Prague Monitor (we’re looking at you NZH) “A team from the Plzen gallery met Lindauer's grand-daughter, 86, in New Zealand. She gave them some valuable documents as well as memories. The preparation of the Lindauer exhibition was on the agenda of the talks between then foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg and his New Zealand counterpart in the spring of 2013.” The story also mentions that Auckland University’s Leonard Bell is attached to the project.

Why the AAG is keeping this good news story secret when the rest of the world already knows about it is anyone’s guess.

Images: top, the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin and bottom, the West Bohemian Gallery in Plzen both of which have secured Lindauer loans from the AAG