Thursday, September 25, 2014

Trick or treat

We don’t often get to see the works we photograph being made in artists’ studios in their completed state, but this week we did. The work we had seen creeping towards completion in Fiona Connor’s temporary studio in Auckland has been installed at Hopkinson Mossman in the exhibition Can Do Academy. In the studio the wall elements she had been making stood out in the semi industrial space but once they were in the gallery large parts of the exhibition were all but invisible as they were seamlessly integrated into the walls. 

Even more surprisingly, the bits that were easy to see were so painterly and the floor was so clean revealing how much of a conceit all that painting was. We should have guessed it from how many cans of paint there were in the studio but we hadn't. For anyone who had been to art school it was all instant deja vu. And Fiona had another trick up her sleeve. If you buy one of these works (and it would be a task to figure out where the work ended and Hopkinson Mossman began) you get to choose whether you want to have it flush to the wall as in the exhibition as sculpture or hang it like a painting. Sculptors have always felt like second class citizens in the gallery trade. Barnett Newman set the tone when he said ‘sculpture is what you bump into as you back up to look at a painting.’ Nice to see Fiona get one back on them.
Images: top, in the studio and bottom installed at Hopkinson Mossman