Te Tuhi hosts the first long-term commissioned artwork by Julian Dashper (1960–2009). One of New Zealand's most prolific contemporary artists, Dashper exhibited regularly throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally.
Throughout his practice, Dashper brought a healthy degree of humour to his reworkings of abstraction, conceptualism and minimalism. One of his early insights was that characteristics of the reproduction of international art, such as a flattening-out and a simplification of form, provided formal solutions to gauge the efficacy of a reproduced modernism. As art historian Christina Barton states, his local context then provided “the unique perspective of attending to an internationalist art history from a distance, enabling him to devise strategies to work around his geographical isolation whilst simultaneously articulating its effects.”
Dashper travelled extensively. This commission is part of a series, influenced by encounters with the late American minimalist artist Fred Sandback during visits to Marfa, Texas. In homage to Sandback, Dashper created linear works that toy with the idea of a permanent art acquisition through the use of materials that are at once accessible, and intrinsically susceptible to erasure.