Monday, February 03, 2014

Are you being served?

Let’s hear it for some of the unsung heroes of Jill Trevelyan's book on Peter McLeavey - the gallery assistants. Over years of checking out exhibitions at 147 Cuba, we got to meet some pretty distinctive people working in the gallery. One of the most memorable was Allen Maddox who during a lull in visitors covered the walls of the main gallery with large white cards he found in shoeboxes with each taped around the four edges and cancelled with a black cross. The effect was like walking into the skeleton of one of his paintings. Allen would also (famously) allow the odd person to peer into the mythical McLeavey storeroom.  

Others who worked with McLeavey included Graham Glover, the intriguing Derek Cowie who showed with Peter and was his assistant from ’85 to ‘89 and, of course, Ivan Anthony who both showed at the gallery and later went on to start his own McLeavey-like space in Auckland. All these guys were able to show you work and even give a price, but somehow it was always Peter who sold you on it, one way or the other.

Images: top, Ivan Anthony helping to hang a Julian Dashper painting and below, Derek Cowie unpacks an earlier Dashper exhibition.