Thursday, January 31, 2013

Art in the workplace

Art hard at work in the foyers of the world

Gripping stuff

You don’t expect to see much art in a Tarantino movie (how to remove bloodstains from art here) but Django unchained has a major surprise. Giving some art cred to the movie's persistent wrestling theme there's a major cameo for a copy of The wrestlers based on a copy of The wrestlers at the Uffizi. There they are (a small scale version of a copy of the original that was lost long ago) sitting on a sideboard behind OTN featured bird handler Leo DiCaprio who plays Calvin Candie. Yes, this is the same sculpture that dominated the dome gallery of the Sarjeant in Wanganui until Billy Apple gave it permission to spend some time in the storeroom. We had our own encounter with The wrestlers when it featured in the 1987 exhibition When art hits the headlines.
You can learn more than you want to know about The wrestlers here including the alarming fact that both heads were later additions, that this wrestling position is known as the ‘cross-body ride’ and that such a close arrangements of figures are called symplegmata. There are thousands of copies of The wrestlers in varying sizes located all over the world. The Sarjeant copy is by Raffaello Romanelli who is most famous for his equestrian statue of Charles Albert of Sardinia in Rome. The Django copy was probably made by a Hollywood version of WETA.
Image: The Wrestlers butt into Django.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Game boy

Our all time favourite art game maker Pippin Barr is in the middle of a new epic. This time you get to be an artist. The game is in testing at the moment but will put up the link when it leaves the studio.


As Te Papa prepares its own Andy Warhol exhibition it will be aware of the controversy over the censoring of Warhol’s work in Asia. The latest bout started when his portraits of Mao Tse Tung were excluded from the exhibition Andy Warhol: 15 minutes eternal shows in Beijing by the Chinese Ministry of Culture. More weirdly the Singapore Government also put the skids under the Mao pics in the same exhibition for a very specific reason. It does not allow political leaders to be represented in works of art. At all. While not a great moment for audiences or curatorial independence, before we get too carried away let's acknowledge our own well developed mode of censorship - self-censorship.
The self-censorship by curators and museums has ensured that virtually nothing has been seen of Warhol’s homoerotic work of the seventies: not his best work, doesn’t fit the curatorial theme, wrong dates etc. etc. The definitive MoMA retrospective had only three mild examples as opposed to 10 images of Mick Jagger. Needless to say examples of this work won't be seen touring Asia any time soon. The pages illustrating this post show the absurdity of where this can all lead. Here's what Frankfurt’s very reputable Kunsthalle did to Jeff Koons’s Made in heaven series in their catalogue for a recent Koons painting show and made itself look ridiculous in the process. Which of course is what censorship is good at.
Image: The Kunsthalle Frankfurt catalogue featuring a carefully trimmed ‘detail’ of Glass dildo by Jeff Koons. Yes, that it is Cicciolina's high-heeled foot you can see.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Branded: Arnold Wilson

The moment when artists become brands


It’s a bit like visual proof reading. How many people immediately notice that all the trees have been removed from Seurat’s famous painting Sunday afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte? Conservationist Iain Woodhouse was responsible for this and a couple of other vegetative subtractions as part of a serious don't-muck-about-with-nature statement. You can see more of his art landscape modifications here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Monday chart

An OTN reader responds.
(Thanks again L, hope you don't mind the redraw)

Back to the future

If you want to look at art for the next while, don't go to Te Papa. The fifth floor will be all but closed for 60 days while they install what they claim will be a ‘dynamic’ way of exhibiting art that is to open end March. 

This will be Te Papa’s opening act of the implementation of its recently adopted vision: Changing Hearts, Changing Minds, Changing Lives. Running parallel of course is hiring new people to set this new course. 

The first two have been appointed: Associate Director Museum of the Future and Associate Director for Museum of Living Culture. So where do you go to get change agents with the fresh new ideas? 

The new Associate Director for Museum for the Future Karen Mason comes from the Auckland Museum. She worked for the National Art Gallery back in the 1980s and was Exhibition Concept Developer and Creative Director at Te Papa. 

Associate Director Museum of Living Cultures  is Tracy Puklowski who is from Wellington’s Turnbull Library. She previously worked at Te Papa as head of the Art and Visual Culture.

LATER: Oh, and apparently they are going to action the new focused by splitting in two 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Feather weights

Four years ago we spotted David Lynch doing the Peter Peryer thing with a chook. This time it’s more bird/artist action with Leonardo DiCaprio photographed by Annie Leibovitz.
Images: Peryer Self portrait with rooster 1977, Leonardo Dicaprio by Annie Leibovitz 1997 and Andrzei Dragan's portrait of David Lynch 2007.

Friday, January 25, 2013

On the road

Our continuing (seemingly endless) series featuring New Zealand artists honoured by local bodies and the Ministry of Transport. (Thanks S for helping to keep the dream alive)

The Warhol effect

Te Papa announced late last year that it will host a Warhol exhibition in June 2013 selected by its curator of contemporary art and acting senior curator Sarah Farrar. Metaphor aside, nine months is not much time to pull off what the museum must be hoping will be one of those if-we-show-him-they-will-come blockbusters. The works will be selected from the collection of Pittsburgh's Andy Warhol Museum (plus some local and Australian ring-ins one assumes) but having just seen the bloated three hundred work exhibition Andy Warhol: 15 minutes eternal touring Asia and also from the Andy Warhol Museum, it’s not going to be easy to get a great show.

Museums manage their collections on the principle of that airline safety instruction video - ‘Secure your own mask first before helping others.’ Institutions with iconic collections like the Andy Warhol Museum can't afford to disappoint their own audiences with anything less than the best possible sampling of Warhol’s work. The problem for borrowers then is that what tends to be left is the smaller, lesser known, less popular examples (often on paper rather than canvas and in the Asian show occasionally in facsimile rather than original). This situation made 15 Minutes Eternal a pretty drab affair. To make up the numbers far too many average works were included and this quantity over quality perspective was aggravated by an absence of curatorial point of view.

The challenge for Te Papa is satisfying the drive for a strongly marketed blockbuster against a smart show with a point of view. Warhol is not seen in New Zealand often. The last time was the highly focused show The Warhol look in 1998 at the Auckland Art Gallery which only managed to draw in less than half its projected audience of 50,000 and lost around $90,000.  Warhol is not an audience slam dunk but working with what’s available after the Asian vacuum cleaner has been through and making some other institutional loans (the country code for Australia is +64) let's hope for a sharp, focused exhibition of one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Whether that will be enough to draw the crowds and turnaround Te Papa’s declining attendance figures is another thing altogether.
Image: Diminishing returns. Top Andy Warhol boxes in the studio. Bottom left at the Andy Warhol Museum and right, in a tragically blurry photo taken against all odds, the slim pickings exhibited at the 15 minutes eternal exhibition

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Art in the workplace

Art hard at work in the foyers of the world.

"All I'm asking you for when you walk out the door is to be my baby, baby"

Babies are big in sculpture, especially if you are Marc Quinn. The YBA has just installed his floating baby in Singapore and for anyone who dreams of having an über infant floating above them, that’s the place to be. And in NZ we’re not dropping behind on the big baby boom. Christchurch of course had Ron Mueck’s Big Baby front and centre in their crowd-pulling exhibition. In fact Mueck has done a range of baby sculptures but, you will be pleased to hear, Christchurch scored the biggest one. So here’s a range of what’s around if you’ve a mind to do the big baby tour anytime soon.
Images: the Marc Quinn baby that has been recently installed in Singapore, random giant red baby, Nina Levy’s baby sculpture at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Burning Man baby on the way home, Tank baby somewhere in China, big bronze babies by David Černý in Prague, Max Streicher, blow-up babies in Canada, Ron Mueck’s Big baby and big talking Big Baby in Spain

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Talking books

(A new series that quotes fictional artists)

“B-but, Mr Jimson, I w-want to be an artist.'
“If you find life a bit dull at home and want to amuse yourself, put a stick of dynamite in the kitchen fire, or shoot a policeman. Volunteer for a test pilot, or dive off Tower Bridge with five bob's worth of roman candles in each pocket. You'd get twice the fun at about one-tenth of the risk.”
Artist Gully Jimson in Joyce Cary’s The horse's mouth


Is this a lookalike or someone channeling McCahon from beyond the grave? Whatever, the style of Caltex’s giveaway promotion at the very least strongly echoes the proposal drawings McCahon made for a mural for Caltex. It was 1963 and Caltex was moving its head office in Auckland’s Fanshaw Street. A mural was called for. McCahon's design was not accepted, apparently because a name change was in the offing. In fact that didn’t happen for another three years and only affected the corporate name changing to Caltex Petroleum Corp. 
Images: Top, Caltex campaign and bottom, McCahon Caltex painting reproduced in the Les and Milly Paris auction catalogue. Also showing as a bonus is Milan Mrkusich’s Golden passive element. (Thanks S. Thanks again, that cap is on its way… really.)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sixty five years later

A bottle of pure water compared to Colin McCahon
(Thanks S)

Man up

The word is that Te Papa has appointed two women to senior Associate Director positions in its new set up (more on this next week) adding to a growing number of recently appointed women to top jobs:

Viv Beck – Deputy Director Auckland Art Gallery
Elizabeth Caldwell – Director City Gallery Wellington
Courtenay Johnston – Director Dowse Art Gallery
Zara Stanhope – Principal Curator Auckland Art Gallery
Helen Kedgley - Director of Pataka Art + Museum

A bit early to say if this will make a big difference but if Wellington City Gallery is anything to go by (they have had a woman director for over 20 years) it looks like the men are safe for the moment.

The City Gallery has just put out its years schedule admittedly a big step-up for a gallery that has always been so secretive over its future plans. Key exhibitions showing this year:

Gregory Crewdson
Shane Cotton
Glen Hayward
Len Lye
Also showing:
Daniel Betham
Tim Wigmore

Currently showing: 
Ben Cauchi
James R Ford
Oh Jaewoo
Wayne Youle

You can see the full post February list (including the miserably small representation of women artists for the year) here

As a reader notes there are already a number of women art museum directors already: Tina Barton (Adam), Julie Catchpole (Nelson), Fiona Ciaran (Aigantighe), Rhana Devenport (GBAG), Jenny Harper (Christchurch), Penelope Jackson (Tauranga), Cherie Meecham (Waikato) and Linda Tyler (Gus Fisher). There are more we are sure, email us and we'll add them to the list.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Strong words

"I always saw the role of director as primarily to lift people to paradise and to give them information and delight – and then, at another moment, claw them, so they were absolutely shocked and they were made to think about what was going on around them. It wasn't all about delight.” 
Sir Roy Strong former director of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and the National Portrait Gallery in London

What me warrior

There’s a great story about Marcel Duchamp (possibly apocryphal) who was seen at his retrospective exhibition in Philadelphia signing a Mona Lisa postcard for one of the visitors. A museum person suggested that given his famous intervention on the image, a signed postcard would be rather valuable. The next day Duchamp was sitting at a small table outside the exhibition signing a large stack of Mona Lisa postcards which were free to all. When asked what he was doing he replied, “Devaluing the currency.” 

We were thinking about this when we saw about fifty terracotta Warriors crated up and ready-to-go behind a small curio shop in Hong Kong. The heads were rather alarmingly packed separately. In 1986 some of the original terracotta figures were shown at the Auckland Art Gallery preceded by the usual blockbuster fanfare and rewarded with the usual public response. The public were rather less enthusiastic twenty three years later when a bunch of reproductions owned by touring exhibition guy Marshall Bird went round the country with good reason. A couple of years before a similar show had tried to slip through as the real thing at Hamburg's Museum of Ethnology but was outed by the Chinese as fakes to the embarrassment of all concerned. 

We saw yet another sorry stage in the warrior downward spiral at a bar last night. There, among the bar stools and tables, was a copy of a full size Terracotta Warrior with its head placed on a jaunty angle. As we took a pic one of the patrons leant over to take a closer look at the figure, turned back to his friend and said, “Unreal.” 

Images: Left Warriors to go in Hong Kong and right hard at work in a Wellington bar

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Looks like art

It’s not an art performance piece but it probably should be. The OTN documentary team shot this short video of two women nailing a difficult cleaning job at Shanghai airport. You can watch it here

Friday, January 18, 2013


The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam promotes its cafe.

Copycat bird

A reader (thanks P) has sent in this shameless copycat version of Don Binney’s painting Kokako, Tiritiri Matangi. The poor Kokako even loses its undercarriage in the blunt instrument graphic translation and the landscape obviously put into the too hard basket. The 2006/07 Binney painting was last seen at auction in 2009 where it went for $86,687. The copycards (supply your own wedding) are $24.52 a pack.
Images: Right Don Binney's  Kokako, Tiritiri Matangi. Left, not.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

In Bangladesh

We were thinking about Jim Speers.

On guard

Over the years we've bombarded you with pics of stanchions, barriers and pine cones (true) being used to protect art works, sometimes ruining them, sometimes adding a hilarious new dimension. Art museums have another weapon to keep us away from their art: guards. We’ve already had a look at their reading choices and the move from books to phones, but how about the aesthetics of minding. 
Here’s one photo taken by us at the Shanghai Biennale of a guard completely unaware that the video he is protecting has long since stopped playing along with two images from Andy Freeburg’s book Guardians ofthe Russian Museums. This wonderful collection of photographs suggests that guards become like the pictures they attend, something like people and their dogs. It was Freeburg who made our favourite art people photographs, the top of dealer gallery staffers' heads poking up above hefty reception counters. As for our favourite guard response to someone actually trying to touch something? Still got to be from the movie Night at the museum: battle of the Smithsonian, “How dare you! If you touch that again I shall kill you right now.”
Images: Top, Shanghai Biennale guard. Bottom, woman guarding art in Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery photographed by Andy Freeburg.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Art in the workplace

Art (the Minister of Culture and Heritage's favourite sort of art as it happens) hard at work in the foyers of the world.

Go down Moses

One of the stranger art imports to New Zealand has been the life-size replica of Michelangelo’s Moses that was “specially commissioned” as a “work of art in its own right” by Auckland department store Milne & Choice in 1971 to celebrate its 100 anniversary. The previous year the store had imported a marble replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta but the Moses (according to the store’s brochure) posed its own “considerable transport and handling problems.”  And we assume considerable storage problems as the following year it was donated to the city.

The ‘life-sized’ figure of Moses arrived complete with two horns sticking out of its marbly forehead, protrusions still considered at that time (Michelangelo’s not Milne & Choice’s) to be a fair representation of the prophet's glory when he came down from his meeting with God (Exodus 34:29). The piece was carved in Carrara marble by the same team that had put chisel to stone for the Pieta job and was exact down to “its foot, worn down by the kisses of untold millions of pilgrims.”

Just over 40 years later (late last year) the Vatican finally allowed a cast to be made of its Moses (previously the replicas had to be carved based on models) and a bronze version, authorized by the Italian Ministry of the Cultural Goods and Activities, was cooked up for The Most Precious Blood Church in New York. And so another Moses has been added to the many hundreds of marble and stone versions scattered throughout the world. Auckland’s one sits in Myers Park at the bottom of the stairs leading up to St Kevin’s Arcade and K Road.

But not all has been sweetness and light in the world of Moses replicas. A couple of years ago a full sized Marble Moses was toppled in an act of road rage (seriously). Brendan Pemberton, enraged by a traffic citation tipped the Moses sitting in the Worcester District Court off its podium and onto its back. From this position it became obvious to everyone that the 148 year-old sculpture, recently renovated to the tune of $20,000, was in fact hollow and made of plaster.  It has since been reinforced and returned to the courthouse. 
Images: Top, the Myers Park Moses photographed by Peter Peryer. Second row, Moses copies in Poland and US followed by bronze Moses in New York. Bottom, the toppled Moses and finally, a record of the restoration work done to get it up and sitting again. 
(and thanks for your help Auckland Libraries)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Members only

Outstanding combination of images on the Sarjeant Gallery's Tumblr promoting Sarah Maxey's Dome installation Comeback. Thanks to regular reader KEAT for pointing it out. If you need an innuendo break go here.

Red Bull gives you wings

When good public sculpture turns bad there’s not much to do other than pull it down and so Saddam, Stalin and Marcos bit the dust. But what if the pull-down technique stood to offend people you didn't want to piss off (well not immediately anyway).

In Hong Kong we saw a classic answer to this question. The César Baldaccini bronze sculpture The flying Frenchman stands outside the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.  It was donated to the city by the Cartier Foundation back in 1992 under the title The spirit of Freedom. That was ok for a few years but when Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 the new owners decided that the ‘Freedom’ thing had to go. So it went.

Monday, January 14, 2013

And his favourite opera? Gotta be Starlight Express

"He's a strange one, isn't he? I just find it all a bit ... bleak ….There is too much gloomy art in New Zealand. There is not enough light and frivolity."
Minister of Culture and Heritage Hon. Chris Finlayson commenting on Colin McCahon’s Muriwai Canvas and Necessary Protection in the Parliamentary collection. (According to the NZH Mr Finlayson's own favourites hang in his office and include one of Piera McArthur’s series on Bishop Pompallier)  More here if you want to punish yourself further.

Image: Finlayson and McArthur Pompallier painting

Parkinson's Law

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday at the movies

This music video featuring a crumbling ‘sculpture’ of US singer Annie Erin Clark will probably give the Christchurch Art Gallery people pause. It's obviously based on the sculpture of Ron Mueck whose exhibition drew huge crowds to the Gallery between the two destructive quakes. You can watch the video here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Sign up

A getting-to-the-heart-of-things billboard by Geoff Hargadon an American financial planner and part-time artist. More here.


Rounding a corner in the copy painting village of Da Fen in southern China, we saw a startlingly familiar image. A copy from a postcard was being made of Picasso's Pitcher, candle, and casserole, but our jolt of recognition connected to an early Colin McCahon painting A candle in a dark room that we had first seen in the late seventies.
One of the advantages of being in New Zealand is the easy access you have to most parts of the art world. And that was how, thanks to being in the public art museum business and writing the text for a book on contemporary artists, we got to meet Colin McCahon a couple of times. He was very welcoming and happy to talk with a couple of people who were pretty junior in the scheme of things. At one stage he said, “You two are from Wellington, I’ll show you something from my first Wellington exhibition. It’s under the bed” and dived out of the room. The painting he brought back was a little worn but spruced up it is now on loan to the Auckland Art Gallery, presumably by the McCahon family.

Although the date is unclear on the painting itself, it was recorded as 1947 and listed as entry number 37 in the catalogue sheet when it was shown in an exhibition of McCahon's paintings by Ron O’Reilly in the newspaper room of the Wellington Public Library the following year.  This date makes the 1945 Picasso painting almost certainly a key influence. You can see the black triangular shape at the edge of Picasso’s candle flame is enlarged and repeated in the McCahon work, the colour range is startlingly similar and the candle and holder are obvious soul mates. It certainly lit us up there on the streets of Da Fen.

Image: Left, a Da Fen painter’s copy of Picasso’s Pitcher, candle, and casserole (the Picasso original is in the collection of the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris) and right, Colin McCahon’s A candle in a dark room currently on loan to the Auckland Art Gallery.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In Shanghai

We were thinking about Weta Workshop’s foray into public sculpture in Wellington.

China painting

You’re OTN, you’re in Hong Kong, what do you do? Head out to the copy painting capital of China that’s what.
Da Fen is a couple of short train rides and a border crossing into China from Hong Kong. It's packed with small studios pumping out lookalike paintings for the world as well as framers and art supply stores. If you know Heather Straka’s smoking girl paintings you've already seen some of the product of China’s seemingly inexhaustible copying business.

So what is China painting, ok, copying, for the world? Van Gogh is huge. We saw sunflowers, starry nights, cafes and many, many self portraits. Monet waterlilies made a major appearance as did images by Rothko and Lichtenstein, Warhol and Rembrandt alongside Mona Lisas and Maos, landscapes and still lives, herds of wild horses and the cutest of cute animals.

Having expected to be subjected to hard-core sales pitches we were surprised to find an atmosphere of calm studiousness pervading the entire four or five blocks of the painting village. In each studio open to the street was an artist hard at work barely pausing to look up when we asked to take photographs. While the level of skill varies hugely most of the artists are art school trained. Didn’t see much drawing going on and some of the larger more complex works (say Raphael’s The school of Athens) were being painted over faintly printed digital reproductions. The selection of subjects is crucial to this international art industry so the artists tend to work off postcards that have proved popular. It's a smart way to ensure their product will find a home somewhere.

You can see more of our copypainter pics here and here.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Greening of Walters

That growling sound you can hear is Gordon Walters rolling in his grave. (Thanks A)

The Director’s cut

With Chris Saines off back to the Queensland Art Gallery, the search is on for a new Auckland Art Gallery Director. Apparently Saines scored Queensland out of a field of 30 and a short list of six so presumably some of them will be possibilities for the Auckland job. Let's hope the decision making will be faster than Queensland’s appointment process that dragged on for about 10 months.
In its 60 year history the Auckland Art Gallery has had nine directors (although one of them, Grant Kirby, was acting in the role for a couple of years while the Gallery mustered up the courage to appoint its first and only New Zealand-born director Rodney Wilson who left the post 34 years ago). 

The first two directors, Eric Westbrook and Peter Tomory, came from the UK, Richard Teller Hirsch came from the United States, and the rest were Australians: Gil Docking, Ernest Smith, Christopher Johnstone (via the UK) and Saines.

Johnstone was in his early 40s when he took up the job, Chris Saines was 40 and Rodney Wilson was 36 so maybe we can expect someone in that age zone to be a contender.

Some numbers:

0    the number of women who have directed the Auckland Art Gallery

1.3  the population of Auckland in millions

1.5  the number in millions of visitors to Chris Saines’s new institution QAGOMA (that’s what they call it) last year

2.1  the population of Brisbane in millions

8.2  the average number of years served by Auckland Art Gallery Directors

17  the number of years Chris Saines has been director of the Auckland Art Gallery

25   the percentage of Auckland Art Gallery directors with doctorates

39  the average age on appointment of the last three directors

50  the annual budget of QAGOMA in millions of dollars

100 the number of people on the Auckland Art Gallery staff

270  the number of  people on the QAGOMA staff

667  the number in thousands of visits to the Auckland Art Gallery last year

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Copy Kahn’s

One thing that has happened in Bangladesh since we have been going there has been a major increase in the standard of building. Call it the Dubai effect. Bangladeshis have been a major force in the building of that city and they've come back home to produce buildings with the international level quality and finish. It's particularly amazing when you realise that even in high-rise projects concrete pours are delivered on site via woks on the heads of endless streams of workers.
And is the spirit of Louis Kahn apparent in these modern buildings? Not so much. But it was great to spot his influence in the oddest places, including a gas station.
Images: Louis Kahn alive and well in Dhaka. Top, a disused gas station. Middle, a mosque and inside the airport's international terminal and bottom, bus station.


On our third visit to Dhaka in Bangladesh we did it. We got inside one of the world’s greatest buildings.  Our first effort was thwarted by Bangladesh's caretaker military government of the time (they were not in the mood to share so we simply circumnavigated the complex) and the second was tangled by bureaucracy but this year it suddenly became easy. Bangladesh’s General Assembly Building, known to the Bangladeshi as Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban, is without doubt the masterpiece of architect Louis Kahn. We were deeply grateful to be allowed to visit; we were even taken into the debating chamber itself as the parliament was not in session.
Obviously our photos can’t do the place justice but you can get some idea of two usually contradictory forces at work: monumentality and grace. What you can't get is the extraordinary sensation of walking corridors soaring up six storeys with great arcs cut into the walls above you and light projecting sweeping shapes over the massive concrete surfaces. Looking out of the building you see sheets of reflecting pools and the beautifully sculpted brick buildings that house the ministerial offices, strangely delicate next to the grand architectural gestures of the main building.

It is impossible to comprehend how a bunch of politicians agreed that this was the building they wanted or to understand how Kahn managed to get this enormously complex work completed. Although it took around twenty years with a bloody war in the middle of it, as an assertion of a people it is unprecedented. We've heard that the building has functional problems and there is certainly some maintenance needed, but the basic concrete structure is magnificent and the Kahn designed detail splendid.

If you are anywhere near Dhaka in Bangladesh go here first to download the form you need to fill out. From there it's just a matter of showing up at the front gate and following your nose and then the nose of your guide.

Images: top outside and the rest inside Louis Kahn’s Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban. More pictures here.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Colour me Driver

In Bangladesh we were thinking about Don Driver.

While we were sleeping

Who says nothing happens over the run up to Christmas? Impressively, Chris Saines landed the directorship of the Queensland Art Gallery (congratulations) • consensually, the popular choice award for the Walters Prize went to Sriwhana Spong (same) • surprisingly, Dane Mitchell shifted his tent from Starkwhite to Hopkinson Cundy • harshly, Peter McLeavey was informed he no longer represented Liz Maw or Andrew McLeod • doggedly, EyeContact published another 18 reviews and attracted up to 3000 visits a week • curiously, Te Papa conducted an online survey asking people if they have ever heard of the Aztecs and for marketing tips • pointedly, no-one from the visual arts appeared in the New Year’s honours list • curatorially, Te Papa announced it would be selecting a Warhol exhibition from the collection of the eponymous museum • fashionably, Francis Upritchard featured in British Vogue • remarkably, T J McNamara was still writing art reviews for the NZH and sadly (and a little pathetically on our part), unbeknownst to us while we were in Shanghai Neil Dawson was also in the city installing a public sculpture (Feather from Afar)