Friday, January 23, 2015


In passing.    Francis Upritchard is currently showing at the Hammer Museum in LA while her frequent co-exhibitor Martino Gamper has just completed some very superior window dressing for Prada in Milan. And in the better-late-than-never section good news for Sarah Farrar who has finally been officially acknowledged on the Te Papa website as Senior Curator Art (strangely she is at the bottom of the art section staff list, but that's what happens when you order things alphabetically by first name #weird). 

Ouch!     “A lot of New Zealand architecture is bland and oppressive, like Te Papa. Athfield's buildings were never like that. Think what could have happened if he and the genius Frank Gehry had been chosen to design the national museum instead of failing even to make the short list. We might have had a masterpiece; we would certainly have had a building that lived in controversy. Instead, we have a giant nonentity.” That was the Dom Post rather ungraciously using Ian Athfield’s death to stick one to Te Papa. At the other end of the spectrum the Dowse probably went an appreciation too far when it tweeted "The Dowse has grown in so many ways thanks to the genius of Ian Athfield & his team." Somewhat over the top given that Athfield's Dowse build was probably one of the most incoherent refits ever done on a NZ art museum. Wellington is holding a public memorial service for Athfield in Civic Square 3pm on Sunday 1 Feb and you can see a nice doco on the young experimental Athfield here.
Crowing.    Art writer and critic Thomas Crow famously declared, "A major contemporary of Rothko, Newman, Pollock, Twombly and Johns - an artist at their level of achievement - is in the midst of his first major touring exhibition. The artist is Colin McCahon, and, yes, he is that good." Word is that Crow is writing another book and, yes, it is on Colin McCahon.

China shop.    You can read how Giovanni Intra almost single-handedly invented cool in Chinatown. The second part of Joel Mesler’s drugs and drama account of the LA art scene and its general all round insanity is in the latest Art News. And soon a chance to see a great Intra Blue of moon at Michael Lett starting 28 Feb (OK, we confess, it's ours). 

Rick Ellis, note to self: “Check this guy out”.     Remember how long it took photography and video to be acknowledged as art? Make way - Virtual Reality coming through! Artist Ziv Schneider and his Museum of Stolen Art. More here.
Number graphics: Pippin Barr