Thursday, November 05, 2009

A Roundabout road show

Finding out what’s coming up in our public art museums is never easy. Although the Auckland Art Gallery lists upcoming shows through to June 2010 for most art institutions it remains our-little-secret. The section ‘coming soon’ is always empty on the Govett-Brewster web site and the City Gallery tends to announce its upcoming shows with press releases a month or so before they open (there was a rush of info yesterday about the three shows they are importing as part of the International Festival early next year - Pick, MrKusich and Cardiff - but that felt like it was on the Festival's clock rather than the one the City Gallery usually uses).

So for the rest of us it’s gossip, rumour and inspired guesswork. That’s why we suspect the City Gallery’s Heather Galbraith has been working on a Love show (In and out of love?) for the last couple of years and that a Crown Lynn survey is in the wings. It’s also the basis of OTN’s prediction that David Teplitzky’s indigenous art show Roundabout would start its global roaming at the City Art Gallery. That was a matter of someone seeing Teplitzky heading in to meet director Paula Savage and dropping OTN an email. OK, it’s only one step above the amoeba in terms of fact gathering but this time it worked. Yesterday personalised invitations announced that Roundabout will open at the City Gallery as its first venue on ‘a worldwide tour’ in September 2010.

Weirdly this invitation offers a chance to “exclusively preview” the City Gallery exhibition at Hotel de Brett in Auckland in November. So that you won’t spill the beans on what is in the show, the invitation makes it clear that “exclusive preview details ... should be treated in strict confidence.” Er, even for amoebas, much of the content of the exhibition is fairly well known. Teplitzky’s buying spree has attracted a fair bit of attention and upto halfway through last year a lot of the work was listed and pictured on the Roundabout website.

The invitation also makes it clear that a number of the “major and seminal pieces” are for sale. Maybe the confidentiality clause was sparked by concern that there could be changes in content between the de Brett’s Roundabout premier and the City Gallery launch.

Our curiosity raised by the C word (confidentiality), what we amoebas want to know is, given the possibility of sales to new owners who may not want to lend, is the City Gallery show going to have all the seminal works from the de Brett's opening? For that you would need the de Brett's exhibition list.

Images: Top, the City Gallery announcement on the Hotel de Brett’s invitation Bottom left, the current image on the Roundabout site. Right, the original Roundabout logo featuring some of the works in the collection including those by Shane Cotton and John Pule. (click on image to enlarge)