To mark the opening of the Pakuranga Art Society’s new Fisher Gallery is an exhibition featuring 11 of Auckland’s foremost artists and Albin Martin at East Tāmaki, a loan exhibition from the Auckland City Art Gallery.
The artists in the 11 Auckland Artists show were selected by Hamish Keith and display a comprehensive cross section of the art presently being produced in the Auckland area. The works range in scale from the very large unstretched canvases by Dick Frizzell and Bob Ellis to the smaller domestic scale works by Pauline Thompson and Tony Fomison.
A major issue raised by the exhibition is the question of the traditional distinction between painting and sculpture. In many of the paintings the traditional flat rectangular format is abandoned and the artist has begun to explore the relationship between the painted image and three dimensional reality.
Gavin Chilcott’s paintings The Se-ance – A Message from your Drowned Brother and The Se-ance – A Sequel – Life on the Other Side are constructed from cut out wooden elements that protrude out from the picture plain.
Phillipa Blair’s Feather Cloak and South American Cloak are painted on unstretched canvas and hung on the wall in such a way that they are evocative of cloaks. By painting both sides of the canvas she emphasises the idea that the painting is an object in its own right. The cloaks can be hung in a variety of formats to display their different aspects.
Richard Killeen’s One to One is a series of cut out aluminium elements which are non-specifically interrelated. Each image is a movable object which is out of the compositional control of the artist. The gallery was supplied with the work in a box and the elements were hung without directions from the artist.
The exhibition provides an excellent insight into the direction that Auckland artists are presently investigating. While you may not find the works to your personal liking, they are if they are approached in an open frame of mind, stimulating in their unrestricted approach to art making.
List of works – 11 Auckland Artists