Saturday, August 30, 2008

When good art turns bad

John Chamberlain's 4.3 meter sculpture Detroit Deliquescence stood outside that city’s McNamara Building for about 20 years, when it was taken down and sent to storage and repair at McKay Lodge Art Conservation, Inc. Because of ongoing corrosion, the work can no longer be installed outside and its size prevents it fitting through convention doors to enable an indoor installation. As a result it has been dissasembled and hidden fastenings attached to allow it to be moved in a number of smaller units and reassembled. According to the Wall Street Journal it is still at McKay Lodge. That got us to wondering what happens to all the damaged art that is subject to insurance claims as well as the unwanted art. A professional art mover in the States once told us that after claims are paid out, art works are transported to a storage warehouse and left. A museum of broken art.

Friday, August 29, 2008


It's official. The Dunedin City Council has decided that Priscilla Pitts, the last director of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery was doing the work of two people until she left almost a year ago. The Pitts split will mean an extra $213,000 in salaries and separate directors for the art gallery and the Settlers Museum. A Council spokesperson said they will be looking “for people with a passion for the institutions, not just management skills.”

When frogs hit the headlines

A "provocative" sculpture of a crucified frog by one of our favourite artists, Martin Kippenberger, has been condemned by Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope was taking his summer break at a mountain seminary near where the work is on display at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Bolzano, Italy. As an indication of the power of frog sculpture Franz Pahl, the president of Trentino-Alto Adige regional council, went on an eight day hunger strike in protest ending in his hospitalisation. The offending work has been removed to the third floor from the museum entrance but remains on view. The Museum's director, Corinne Diserens, claims over 26,000 people have visited the frog.
Image: Martin Kippenberger's Zuerst die Füße (Feet First) (1990)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Look alike

Image: Rohan Wealleans-like sea urchin

History on the march

"A historic occasion."
Morning Report describing the sale of a Charles Goldie painting for $404,000

Look alikes: the artist’s studio

Museums had their great love affair with period rooms between the two world wars. Travel was expensive and museums could show other cultures and times to their audiences without their having to leave home. By the end of last century many of these rooms had been dismantled and the bits and pieces auctioned off. So how odd to see art museums embark on a late-Autumn love affair with the idea. An early entrant was the Renzo Piano version of Brancusi’s studio built on the north-west corner of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Although it is claimed to be “reconstituted down to the last detail,” in truth it is more like a studio-shaped gallery set up to exhibit the works left behind by the sculptor. The comparative pictures tell the story. Francis Bacon’s messy workspace has been painstakingly taken apart and reassembled in Ireland, and MoMA recreated Jackson Pollock’s barn in his last survey show – spooky. Now we have a home-grown example with an attempt to show Arnold Wilson’s studio (we assume circa 1958) in the Auckland Art Gallery. As with many of these constructions it is hard to know what it is you are meant to be thinking, as you lean back in ‘Arnold’s couch’ and peer over at his workbench. We assume the 'studio' is based on a contemporary photograph, but did he really have a full suite of furniture right next to where he worked? If Wilson really had this much space he must have had one of the largest studios of any artist in the 50s. Most contemporary pictures you we've seen of Wilson working shows him surrounded by the usual clutter in a shed-like area rather than a spacious, well-lighted place with white cube walls and a picture window view out to the CBD. Clearly we are not intended to take the studio idea too literally, but if not, why attempt it at all? As you look around it all feels a little thin. Its main problem is also the fundamental problem with the exhibition. There is not enough authentic material to create a convincing context for the idea. In the “studio’s” case it is a lack of clutter and detail; for the exhibition, it’s a lack of art.
Images top to bottom. Brancusi, now and then. Bacon, before and after. Wilson, as it is at the Auckland Art Gallery.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Last Supper Light

Because we have spent so much of your time on versions of the Last Supper here is the real thing, albeit colonised by Peter Greenaway’s projection project.


In a world where the camera played second fiddle to the brush, he was at the mercy of dealers and directors.

“Lon Chaney is Peter Peryer. It’s the performance of a lifetime.”– Variety

Two Thumbs Up calls Rachel Hunter’s starring role as museum director Paula Savage, “mesmerising.”

“If you never see another Woody Allen performance, don’t miss this one. Allen as gallerist Peter McLeavey will keep you spellbound.” - Premier

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Warning to art dealers

When the Burnison art gallery in Colorado rented out its galleries to Andy Somora and Anna Pastuszwska to celebrate their wedding last week, they probably didn’t reckon on being swamped by over 14 police who tasered the couple and put them in jail for the night. "The short version of the story is they didn't want to quit their partying," said Mike Sepic, Berrien County, Mich., chief assistant prosecutor. "If you put this in the class of wedding receptions gone bad, I guess this would take the cake."

Another first

What was Creative New Zealand thinking about when it promoted the Empire Art Award on its web site yesterday? It sounds ok at first blush. “The Empire Arts National Youth Art Award is to be New Zealand's premiere art award for artists under the age of 27. This is to be an annual event beginning in 2008 attracting significant national and local publicity and media attention.” But did no-one from CNZ check out who was running it or what the conditions of entry are? It turns out the Empire Award is the child of the Empire Gallery in Cambridge, a dealer gallery whose artists include Kate Butchett, Jane Finch, Delys Lodge, Elaine Williams, Garry Moore and Gillian Bigham. This “premiere art award” is worth $2000 (inclusive of any taxes) or $1990 when you deduct the “non-refundable” $10 entry fee. Still you might get to sell your work because it’s a condition of entry that “all works must be for sale” and don’t forget the Empire Gallery get 40 percent commission on all sales because “all sales will be negotiated through the Empire Gallery”. Freight to and from the gallery? You’ve got it, “responsibility of the artist.”

Monday, August 25, 2008

Stepping up

While we’re on our Artspace jag, we saw something you don’t often see in our public art museums: the director up a ladder. It happened around half-way through Artspace’s 21st birthday celebrations on Saturday night. It was crowded, it was hot and it was Artspace director Brian Butler himself who climbed up to open the high windows onto the main gallery space and let in some fresh air. When you think about it, that’s what he’s been doing since he arrived.
Image: Butler prepares

And they’re racing…

Artspace in Auckland has been up and running for 21 years and in that time has had six directors with an even male /female split. The entries for the next Artspace director’s race are little more loaded. Word is that the applicants are Emma, Heather, Natasha (say what?), Laura, Sophie, and a couple of guys who were early scratchings (no one even seemed to know their names). For what it’s worth, we picked up a strong Artspace is a “local shop for local people” chill in the air, and that the odds-on favourite was Emma. The selection will be made by the neatly gender-balanced group of William, Murray, Greg, Jonathan, Finn, Lisa, Elizabeth, Judy, Sue and Melanie.
A note from Heather Galbraith today to say "my hat was never in this ring. I have more than enough to keep me occupied with Francis' project for Venice ..."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bronze Woody

Where would you most expect to find a sculpture of Woody Allen? That's right, Oviedo in Spain. The town was featured in Allen's movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival a couple of weeks ago. It tells the story of two women who meet with an artist in, right again, Barcelona.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rei Hamon 1919-2008

If you asked someone in the street to name a New Zealand artist in the early seventies, chances are they would have called up Peter McIntyre or Rei Hamon rather than Hamon’s contemporary Colin McCahon. Both McIntyre and Hamon became household names largely through the publication of their work in coffee table books as well as Hamon through prints. Rei Hamon, Artist of the New Zealand Bush, died a couple of days ago at the age of 88. We saw one of his familiar black and white prints today in a secondhand store, pre loved and still working the crowds.

Loose lips lose lives

Anyone who has ever tried to write about the social history of art in New Zealand knows it means going back to the newspapers, magazines and catalogues and doing your own interviews. There is very little written down and very few summaries or guides or abstracts or even simple lists. Art New Zealand has done the odd piece and there have been a few exhibitions with the social history of art as their subject. We once did an exhibition about art controversy in New Zealand and spent far too long digging our way through The Woman’s Weekly, the New Zealand Herald and other brittle and dusty records of the times. That’s why when someone like Lois McIvor sets out to write a memoir of forty years in the Auckland art world, it’s worth looking at. The cover alone justifies the price of Memoir of the Sixties and, in the spirit of Errol Morris here are a few observations. Maurice Shadbolt, Lois McIvor, Colin McCahon, Anne Tapper and Garth Tapper having a drink at the Tappers before heading off to an exhibition. It looks as though they are drinking that sixties favourite sherry and, of course, Shadbolt and Tapper are both smoking – Shadbolt supported by his trademark pipe. The rest of them are probably between fags because McIvor smoked and so did McCahon. Anne Tapper has a glass in one hand and what’s got to be dip in the other. Our guess is cheese and onion, a sixties favourite concocted from a pack of Maggi onion soup and a tin of Nestle Reduced Cream. Behind them, perhaps a hessian-covered wall, and the bookcases seem to be full of matching sets. Leaning everywhere are Garth Tapper paintings. Directly behind his pouring arm is one of his best known works from the time, Southdown Boy, purchased in 1970 by the National Art Gallery.

In her memoir McIvor is most interesting when discussing the evolution of the dealer galleries and their struggle to find a place. She also adds to the story of the mysterious Ross Crothall (of the famous cleaning company family) who vanished after a skyrocket Australasian art career. In other areas she is not as forthcoming teasing the reader with “As [McCahon and I] had quite a rapport between us I could ask him the sort of questions that helped him to explain his theories about art…” and accounts of driving McCahon back to Titirangi with him talking all the way home about … about what we are never told. Perhaps, as McCahon did, McIvor thinks we should concentrate on the work. So, unless someone spills the beans, we guess there won't be any let up to the hard slog for art historians with a bent to the social.
Image: Cover photo taken in 1968

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Don

Don Driver, photographed last week in New Plymouth, still hard at it making art at 78.

By the numbers

1 The number of Directors of Art and Visual Culture at Te Papa who are rumoured to be applying for an academic position at Victoria University.

2.5 The number of years the Auckland Art Gallery will be closed for redevelopment.

8. The number of big paintings the City Gallery in Wellington is trying to find exhibition space for.

23 The percentage of works from private collections in the Rita Angus exhibition.

39 The percentage of pages devoted to ads in the latest issue of Art World.

42 The number of years TJ McNamara has been writing art reviews for the Auckland Herald.

60 The current number of dollars that CNZ has paid for each of John Hurrell’s reviews on eyeCONTACT.

346 the number of works once in the John Leach and Gow Langsford gallery warehouse that are now for sale by auction.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Copy cat

Image: Peter Robinson being taken for a ride in New Plymouth

Of course

“One Day Sculpture kicks off later this month, and the first three new artworks will help redefine public art in the 21st century.”
One Day Sculpture Press Release: Monday 18 August, 2008

When art goes to the movies: Devil’s Advocate

When Warner Brothers decided to use Frederick E Hart’s sculpture Ex Nihilo for the Pacino/Reeves movie Devil’s Advocate, they should have dialed 666 for advice. Hart’s bass relief can be found above the central portal of the Washington National Cathedral's west entrance. The movie makers used it - well a version, albeit a close one - as decor in the apartment of a Manhattan lawyer (Al Pacino). Unfortunately Pacino also plays the Devil and toward the end of the drama the sculpture comes to life with the figures doing things you wouldn’t do in church. Hart, who also sculpted the controversial Washington Vietnam memorial Three Soldiers, was ''deeply disturbed that 13 years of work to create a sculpture of the profound mystery and beauty of God's creation would be so debased and perversely distorted.'' So the Cathedral took Warner to court.

In the end Warner was permitted to release around 500,000 copies of the video for rental, but had to remove or re-edit about 20 minutes of scenes featuring the sculpture before releasing any further copies. If you look at a recent DVD you will see that the figures in the sculpture have been digitally removed when the work appears in the background, and only appear in the final scene.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Art is where you find it

They are still doing hand-painted billboards at Wellington's Embassy theatre.

A day in the life

We received a call for papers from Massey University's Litmus Research Initiative for their One Day Sculpture Conference in March 2009. At 20 minutes each they obviously intend to get through a swag of papers which has to be good for CV-building. Teachers at tertiary institutions need this sort of exposure for their research credentials on which hang all that good stuff like sabbaticals, lighter teaching loads, funding etc. Indeed the whole One Day phenomenon seems dedicated to a kind of art activity that has finally managed to get rid of that pesky interference in the fun: the audience.

Reading through the material we noticed that one of the subjects they hope to discuss is, “The ways in which conventional notions of permanency and monumentality are being challenged.” Historically of course, it’s been by ropes, and dynamite, and crowds.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Warning to collectors

“The spots are going to stay, I’m going to carry on doing those, the butterflies are going to stop, I’m going to stop the spins...”
Damien Hirst


We get to see a lot of Australian art here in New Zealand. The City Gallery alone usually manages one big Australian show a year including over the last few years exhibitions by Hany Armanious, Patricia Piccinini, Noel McKenna, Rosalie Gascoigne and Louise Weaver. At the moment we have Fiona Hall with a huge show care of the MCA in Sydney. In fact a few of these shows have come via the MCA, so how does it go in reverse? Not well. In fact it’s hard to think of any one-person public museum exhibitions by New Zealanders in Australia (apart from our own Robert Leonard’s efforts in Brisbane), and certainly not at the MCA. Julian Dashper has had a couple of outings, but if you’re looking for serious reciprocity, it just isn’t there. Maybe our own institutions and dealers aren’t pushing our wares hard enough or perhaps it’s just a lack of interest, although the latter is hard to fathom given the popularity of so many New Zealand artists in Australia. At least a dozen of them are part of the ‘stables’ of Australian dealers and have regular high profile shows. And the last two Melbourne Art Fairs have featured Ronnie Van Hout and Michael Parekowhai. On reflection, it’s definitely a public museum thing.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

When good art turns bad

One of the strangest art sites on the web is There’s a whole heap of geeks out there mashing celebrity heads with old master paintings. Run for your lives.

Friday, August 15, 2008

White trash

Well, we thought it was funny.

The Goldie standard

Yesterday's news that Goldie’s ‘last’ painting is coming up for auction reminds us that in 1990 the then-National Art Gallery paid a whopping $900,000 for two works shipped out from the UK. At the time many suggested that $900,000 was an absurd price to pay and the Gallery stood behind the ‘fair market value’ argument. Now's a good time as any to test the argument against time. Had they left the cash in the bank at 5% per annum it would now be a $2,274,255 Goldie fighting fund. Even at ‘fair market value’ you’d pick up at least five at today’s prices.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


The fickle hand of fate moves its way silently through the arts. One day you’re illustrated in Brown and Keith’s New Zealand Painting: an introduction and being influenced by the “harsh New Zealand light” - and then you vanish. So it was for Michael Nicholson, who has in fact been back in New Zealand for a long time now and working away. Never one to back off the new, Nicholson, in his 90th year, is presenting a Visual Music Project at the Film Archive tonight at 5.30. The piece will include an animated video originally produced on a Scanimate in the 1980s.

Image: Nicholson in Brown and Keith

Varnishing day

A while back we showed a bunch of ads that used Leonardo’s Last Supper as their subject. So as today is themed advertising, here’s another one, this time without the boring old figure ground problem.

Artists in Ad Land

This is the first in a series (if we can find any other examples) of artists at work in Adland. Who better to kick things off than Over The Net’s good friend Salvador Dali? It was the Spanish painter who redesigned the Chupa Chups logo in 1969 for the company owner and friend Enric Bernat Fontlladosa. And yes, you can buy the T-shirt here.
Image: The Dali logo still selling up a storm

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Advice to artists and curators

"Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches."
Andy Warhol

When good art turns bad

Regular readers will be shocked to hear this recent news from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne

“Complex Shit, a sculpture by the American artist Paul McCarthy, cast loose its moorings and was lifted by a sudden gust of wind from the Paul Klee centre in Berne and carried 200 yards to eventually make landfall in the grounds of a children’s home.
Museum authorities said the work had an automatic safety device that was supposed to make it deflate in the event of a storm - but it failed to operate."

Me, myself and I

If you’ve been to the Rita Angus exhibition at Te Papa you’ll know it’s popular, but in some respects this large scale Angus project is strangely near-sighted. Following Jill Trevelyan’s approach in her biography, Rita Angus: an artist’s life, the exhibition takes a classic nationalist stance. Angus is positioned as a singular figure who “produces something that was unique” without too much help from the rest of the world. Trevelyan, for example, will tell us in her book that Angus stood “completely absorbed” in front of a picture in London’s National Gallery, but never let us know what the picture was. We learn that Angus has a “formidable appetite for gallery-going” but the “lists of exhibitions” she sends back in a letter to Gordon Brown are not revealed in the text or listed in the footnotes. Frustrating. Tracing influences can become reductive, but some sense of context and heritage are illuminating about any artist and her work.

The catalogue for the exhibition also has only a small handful of references to twentieth century artists. Malevich get a short, rather curious, reference, “What separates the buildings from their natural environment is Kazimir Malevich’s straight line”. Braque and Picasso are acknowledged through a quick nod for cubism (77 words), and Cezanne (18 words) for cylinders, cones and spheres. And that’s pretty much it. There are ten illustrations of work by New Zealand artists other than Angus in the catalogue, but not one by anyone in the rest of the world. Miro, an obvious influence, is not mentioned or illustrated and neither is Frieda Kahlo, who may or may not, be a direct influence, but who certainly could have brought something to the table. There are also no illustrations of the very influential Group of Seven, Canadian painters who showed at the National Art Gallery in 1938, although the show is given a brief (30 words) mention and Angus is said to have “emulated” some of their styles. It is one of the very few times any twentieth century artists are acknowledged to have played a part in her work. As most of Angus’s mature work was made after the Group of Seven exhibition, and as the works shown in it were close in spirit to her own, it probably merited an illustration or two. Perhaps it was felt that Canadian parallels were not the thing for a unique voice. Finally, the only reference to modernist abstraction we could find in the catalogue is a short sentence. “This picture demonstrates Angus’s knowledge of modernist abstraction….” indeed. Francis Pound, were he dead, would be rolling in his grave.
Images: Miro’s Joan Miró’s Vegetable Garden and Donkey, 1918 in the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Bottom, Vineyards and Olive Tree, 1919 in a private collection

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Advice to collectors

“I sent this collector a letter that said, ‘We’ve worked together for three years. Here is a list of the pieces you have in your collection and another list of the pieces that you’ve turned down. Unfortunately, the collection you could have had of pieces that you refused is a much better collection than the one you have.’”
Hard-line art advisor and now curator of photography at the New Orleans Museum of Modern Art, Diego Cotez, talking to Mike Sperlinger in The Price of Everything: Perspectives on the art market, published by Yale for the Whitney. Cortez has just gifted his own 250 piece collection of contemporary photography, including Cindy Sherman, Nan Golden, Richard Prince to the New Orleans museum.
Image: Diego Cortez, seated

Classical gas

Last year almost to the day we posted on the British Mickey Mouse gas mask so how surprised were we that these great masks turned up in the mail, well jpegs anyway.
Top left, a Mickey Mouse Mask by artist Bill Barminski. Top right, three non-functional designer masks for evening wear (the middle one is known as Hyperbeast). Bottom left, our favourite, a British gas mask from World War 1 and right, a Death-head Russian mask which can be yours for $US4.75 from our friends at Marspec International.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Forever young

Hamish McKay hard at work for Gow Langsford back in the day.

When ads follow art: Benadryl

Sometimes it takes the ad guys a while, but they get there in the end. The recent Benadryl ad we saw on TV1 is straight from Damien Hirst’s Hymn. This six ton, 6.1 meter high bronze made in 2000 was reportedly sold first to Charles Saatchi for one million pounds ($2.7 million) and another three copies have been sold since. Of course Hirst swiped the work from Norman Emms who designed the original for the kids’ educational toy market as Young Scientist Anatomy Set. The toy manufacturer Humbrol, who paid Emms one thousand pounds ($2700) for his efforts, claimed to sell 10,000 of the toy sets a year and sued Hirst. Hirst ended up giving money to charity in an out of court settlement. For £16.99 ($46.28), you can buy a copy of the Humbrol version here and make your own TV advert.
Images: Left Damien Hirst Hymn 2000. Right, frames from the Brenadryl ad

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Going ape in the weekend

Gather the kids round the computer and settle down with Over The Net for a Saturday at the movies. Len Lye’s super-creepy monkey singing for peanuts way back in 1933.

Friday, August 08, 2008


You want something done at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, you do it yourself.


Guess it was Ed Hanfling the Auckland art critic who wrote this glowing critique for Ed Hanfling the Modernist Abstract painter on TradeMe.
“Hanfling's style of abstraction is related to American Post-Painterly Abstraction, especially the 'Asymmetrical Chevrons' of Kenneth Noland. The painting is a clever play on the chevron motif, and also Noland's 'target' motif, with a touch of Jackson Pollock.”

If you hurry you can buy Hanfling’s Three Triangles for $35.00.

As the Hanflings also note, “You will love having this painting in your collection, and as Hanfling is a widely known critic, it is likely to increase in value.”

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Window of opportunity

Walking through Wellington, thinking about Allen Maddox.

Here comes the judge

The judge for the Walters Prize is Catherine David the French born independant curator previously of Paris’s Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, which spectacularly changed from its famous collection of Impressionists to exhibiting contemporary art in 1991 and Rottadam's Witte de With in Rotterdam. From 1994-97 she was Artistic Director of Documenta X and has curated shows by Eva Hesse, Godon Matta-Clark, Robert Gober and Stan Douglas. Catherine David has also shown a strong interest in artists outside the main centres, "You know, modernism was not simply a tennis match between Paris and New York."

Strictly one per customer

We’ve already mentioned Damien Hirst’s intention to have his next major sale of new works via an auction. Now you can see the Sotheby’s catalogue and the obligatory auction video, this one with gems like, “It’s actually the first time Damien has done a Spot Painting on gold” and, referring to a skull painting, “it’s all about being here today and gone tomorrow.” As one of the sales people says about a small Tiger shark in a vitrine, it’s “incredibly appealing.”

Images: Video clips. Top, Aurothioglucose (“…first time…”) Middle, D, A, B, D, A., The Immaculate Heart – Lost and Transience and Painting 2 (“…attractive price-points…”) Bottom, The Kingdom (“…appealing…”)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Our interest in copy cats brings this story from the Palazzo Chigi, in Rome. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi held a press conference in front of a copy of The Truth Unveiled by Time by Tiepolo. According to the Guardian, film of the interview clearly reveals that the breasts of the central figure have been covered up with a “gauzy bra”. The cover up was apparently “an initiative of those on the staff of the prime minister who take care of Berlusconi’s image.”

Fair and square

Looking at the cover of Instant! Maori, a book by Nick Theobald and Paaora Walker and published by Wadsworth Books, you can get an idea of how blurred copyright is becoming in the visual arts. Who owns what here? Inside this handy phrase book Foodstuffs are thanked for letting the authors use the Mr Four Square icon, but Dick Frizzell, surely the inspiration behind this mash-up, gets no mention. And have Foodstuffs unwittingly let loose the hounds of appropriation by giving this revisionist version of their logo a big tick? Frizzell probably still waits for the phone call from the lawyers of those notorious copyright protectors, the Disney Corporation. We remember there was a playground (or was it a toilet block?) in New Zealand that was forced to remove a Disney-like mural some years ago. Over the years Disney has successfully extended the time limit on their copyright protection in what is often known as Sonny Bono’s Mickey Mouse Law. That pushed items who's copyright lapsed in 1998 out to 2019. Our Mr Four Square obviously thinks he can mix it with whoever comes along. Good on him.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Good sign

Signs of wildlife at the entrance to Peter McLeavey and Enjoy Galleries in Wellington.


Over the years we’ve done a few posts about dealer gallery signs, so when Julian Dashper told us he owned the New Vision Gallery street sign from the sixties, we asked him what he was going to do with it. He related what he had already done. First up, knowing that Te Papa owned the New Vision archive, he offered it to them on long-term loan. No thanks. Te Papa doesn’t accept anything into the building on loan that it won’t be using within the next five years. Next stop the Hocken. Not so much. It seems that as the Hocken doesn’t hold the New Vision Archive, they see no point in their having the sign. Auckland War Memorial Museum? Not today, all the same. Julian is thinking of putting it up on TradeMe. Watch this space.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Look alike

Left, Peter Peryer Self Portrait with Rooster and 31 years later David Lynch.

In July…

… we rode a bike through a Serra • wondered about Te Papa flogging the family jewels • saw some heavy art in Berlin • marvelled at the number of curators involved in the next Venice Biennale • found more Newmans than we counted on • recalled fond memories of Dan Graham • found a cheap way to buy a Jeff Koons prototype • thanked the Creative NZ Chair for his unfailing support of the visual arts (not) and discovered the lunatics had taken over the asylum
Image: Marlon Brando, who died 1 July 04, playing the guy the month’s named after

Takes the cake

This from the Ministry of Culture.

“We’re a creative bunch here at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, as evidenced by a recent social club cake decorating competition. For my money, the outstanding entry was the three-dimensional recreation of Rita Angus’s well-known painting ‘Cass’, which depicts the rural Cass railway station and the looming mountains beyond.”

For more along the same lines go here

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Art in the movies

Not such a big surprise that when the two big art entertainment D’s of the 1940s, Dali and Disney, got together they reached for a D word and called their animation Destino. It is based on a song by another D guy, Mexican Armando Dominguez, who also did the music. The war and financial difficulties in the Disney business stopped production which was revived by Roy Disney in 1999. The six minute version of Destino was first shown in 2003 at the International Animated Film Festival in Annecy, France. This film clip is only a trailer but still gives a good idea of Dali's contribution.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Seems like only yesterday they put his work on stamps

Victory over death 2 comes up trumps in its hallowed halls, only to be overwhelmed by the smattering of ancillary works which garner that predictable thread of empty landscape despair and provincial malaise which comes abruptly to halt in the spiritual futility of McCahon’s beseeching.”
Harold Grieves tosses out a backhanded compliment and a couple of good kicks in the latest Art New Zealand.
Image: McCahon stamp set published in 1997

... and repeat

To our list of constantly recycled news stories about art, add “Missing paining found by x-ray”
Image: 'Lost' Van Gogh discovered in today's Dominion Post

This pic just received from the Melbourne Art Fair. It's Ronnie Van Hout's R.U.R. which sits, or rather lies, outside the Fair building. Seven New Zealand galleries are exhibiting, including the unlikely pairing of Sue Crockford and Michael Lett in a shared space. CNZ helped fund two of the seven under their international funding scheme, Gow Langsford with $10,000 and Bowen with $7,000.