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documenta 14: Athens musings and highlights

17 June 2017

The five yearly German art event, documenta, has created an outpost in Athens this year and, despite some criticism of curator Adam Szymczyk, it seems like an inspired move to me. With relations between Germany and Greece somewhat strained, the move makes a strong statement about how art can operate in the world and address issues from an alternative, expansive and less literal perspective.

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André Hemer at Te Uru

18 May 2017

André Hemer has been busy of late, with his exhibition Small Paintings IRL at Bartley + Company Art and collaborating with Te Uru curator Andrew Clifford on the exhibition Watching Windows, on show at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery until 23 July 2017.

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Alison Bartley and the Venice Biennale 2017

16 May 2017

A biennale — whether Venice or Sydney — is hard work: intense, demanding, stimulating, expansive, exciting and also fun. With so much to look at and not enough time to give everything enough time, it’s a matter of allowing some works to seduce you and ignoring others. Here’s some of what caught my eye.

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Cat Auburn's new film work 'Preparing the Ground'

4 May 2017

Online publication Contemporary HUM are continuing their fantastic work documenting projects by New Zealand artists abroad with a piece by Chloe Barker on Cat Auburn’s moving image work ‘Preparing the Ground’, developed by Cat during an Graduate Artist residency at Tyneside Cinema in 2016.

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Congratulations Bridget Reweti and Mata Aho Collective exhibiting at documenta 17

8 April 2017

Bridget Reweti, who has work in Post-landscape currently showing in the gallery, will be exhibiting at documenta 14 in Kassell as part of the Mata Aho Collective. Mata Aho Collective is a collaboration between four Māori women who produce large scale fiber based works, with a single collective authorship, commenting on the complexity of Māori lives. Read more about the first ever inclusion of New Zealand artists in documenta.

Brett Graham in Honolulu Biennale

25 March 2017

Brett Graham is included in the inaugural Honolulu Biennial showcasing “the diversity of ideas, art, and culture from the people who live today throughout the places connected by the Pacific Ocean.” Target Island, a major new work, produced for the event comprises four 1300m diameter fibreglass reinforced concrete discs.

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Review of Kerry Ann Lee's exhibition

16 March 2017

"Lee’s surreal, comic juxtapositions of objects succeed because they are neither just ironic, or sentimental but rather stand in for the mysteries of human love and connection. The work feels at once global and deeply personal."

Read more of Mark Amery's review

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Cat Auburn at Te Manawa

9 March 2017

Cat Auburn’s The Horses Stayed Behind is now showing at Te Manawa, Palmerston North. The highly evocative work was a result of Cat’s time as the Sarjeant Gallery’s artist-in-residence at Tylee Cottage in Whanganui and serves as a memorial to the ten thousand horses that left New Zealand for the front lines in World War One (with only four returning).

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A conversation with Ann Shelton

4 March 2017

Ocula correspondents Casey Carsel and Laura Thompson talk to Ann Shelton on the occasion of her current survey exhibition Dark Matter, at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (until 17 April 2017) which includes her most recent series jane says, shown at Bartley + Company Art. 

Over her 20-year career, Ann has explored the construction of narratives that surround social, political and historical contexts. In jane says, these themes continue to be examined through photographs of rich botanical arrangements based around Ann's research into the historical uses of plants for both fertility and birth control. In talking about the images Ann discusses how the work in jane says and earlier series such as Public Places are "investigating the edges of fact and fiction through my interest in urban myth and how stories come to be read as real through their repetition across time." You can read the full interview here.

Roger Mortimer survey exhibition

1 March 2017

Roger Mortimer's survey exhibition Dilemma Hill has opened at Pātaka Art + Museum in Porirua and runs until 21 May 2017. The exhibition, which will also show at the Gus Fisher Gallery in Auckland from July – September, explores the last 16 years of Roger’s practice from his early calligraphic works based on bills, through his ceramics to his cartographic paintings, including his most recent investigations of medieval depicitions of heaven and hell and based on illustrated manuscripts of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

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Kerry Ann Lee in conversation with Reuben Friend

23 February 2017

Join us in the gallery on Saturday 18 March, 4pm, to hear Kerry Ann Lee in conversation with the Director of Pātaka Art + Museum, Reuben Friend.

Kerry Ann Lee will discuss her practice in relation to the new body of work in In Praise of Weird Wonders and look towards what might be in store as she prepares for a solo exhibition at Pātaka, opening in August.

Kazu Nakagawa collaborates for Sculpture on the Gulf

11 February 2017

Carving Water Painting Voice, a collaboration between artist Kazu Nakagawa and composer Helen Bowater, is currently on show at headland Sculpture on the Gulf until 19 February. The visual/sonic installation explores voyaging and migration through the restoration of a Nuiean canoe damaged in transit to Waiheke Island a decade ago and recorded stories and songs of more than 50 migrants in their native tongues. Woven into a sonic ocean, a new medium for the canoe’s ongoing voyages, the narrative of this work is both poignant and timely. You can read more about the work’s story and the story of those involved on the website.

Brett Graham in Sculpture on the Gulf

10 February 2017

This large basalt/blue stone work by Brett Graham is called Te Tumu. While the term is literally a stump or foundation in Maori, it is often used to describe a strong leader or ‘pillar’ of the community. In the context of Waiheke it is also reminiscent of a tuahu or stone altar. Such tuahu were built by the first Polynesian seafarers to make a claim on the land or to offer thanks to the gods for safe passage. It is a reminder of the original occupants of the islands and a homage to Ngāti Paoa. headland Sculpture on the Gulf runs until 19 February.

Roger Mortimer survey opens at Pātaka on 26 February 2017

26 January 2017

An exhibition covering the past 20 years of 2014 Wallace Art Award winner Roger Mortimer opens at Pātaka Art + Museum in Porirua in late February and travels to the Gus Fisher Gallery in Auckland in July. A catalogue, with an essay by Gus Fisher director Linda Tyler, will accompany the show. The survey draws its title Dilemma Hill from a painting (now in a private collection) from Roger's most recent exhibition.

Cat Auburn films screen in Nelson and the UK

26 January 2017

Cat Auburn has a new moving image work Preparing the Ground made while she was Tyneside Cinema Graduate Artist in Residence 2016 showing in Newcastle upon Tyne until 12 March. Another work Ask the Fellows who Cut the Hay, made with another expat New Zealand artist Estella Castle and curator Sarah McClintock opens at the Suter Gallery in Nelson later in February.

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Singing with the Bees: Anne Noble at Abbaye de Noirlac

25 January 2017

In 2016, Anne Noble installed a major multi-media exhibition in a 12th century abbey near the French town of Bourge. Pauline Autet, a New Zealander living in Paris, has published a comprehensive review of the exhibition on Contemporary Hum, a new online platform she established to generate critical discussion and provide great visibility of New Zealand visual arts presented overseas.

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Ann Shelton 20 year review at Auckland Art Gallery until 17 April 2017

24 January 2017

Dark Matter, Auckland Art Gallery's beautifully hung survey of 20 years of Ann Shelton's practice includes all her major bodies of work. A performance produced to accompany the new body of work - jane says - included in the show is being staged at regular intervals - for dates contact Auckland Art Gallery.

André Hemer's recent art practice investigated

24 January 2017

Read about André Hemer's recent work in an article by Jodie Dalgleish published on

Please contact us if you would like to go on the preview list for his April exhibition in the gallery.

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