Aurora commences the 2015/16 Summer programme. It features the beguiling, visual phenomena of Israel Birch’s Te Wai a Rangi (2015); two large scale, mythic, time travelling, important works by Lisa Reihana (New Zealand’s representative at the 2017 Venice Biennial); and includes key photographs from Yuki Kihara’s acclaimed Where do we come from…? suite. Like Reihana, Kihara is one of the featured artists at the forthcoming Asia Pacific Triennial opening late November at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art.
Reuben Paterson is represented by two masterful paintings recently exhibited at the University of Waikato. Ann Robinson’s Ice Bowl # 89 (2010) is being exhibited for the first time and comes from her private collection.
Beaumont is one of the largest single panel paintings undertaken by Karl Maughan. In it he presents the architecture of the landscaped garden and the coded languages of colour in acclaimed ways that traverse stylistic techniques as diverse as abstraction (when viewed close) and representation (when viewed with some distance). Dick Frizzell compellingly delivers the specific and local, the generic and ubiquitous simultaneously in Limestone Road Kawhia (2015)and Dusk Near Strathmore (2015).
Neil Dawson’s Cloud 16 (2015) is an optical poem of swallows in flight, the spiralling patterns rising and falling, the myriad shadows constantly altering. Black Halos 17 (2015) is an enthralling, suggestive, visual contradiction that both advances and recedes. Utilising a 5th Century halo design from southern Spain, powder coated in black water silk, the work appears to be drawn in air as it redefines space.
Neil Frazer’s White Rush (2015) is like no other landscape work. It is imbued with a state of sensory immersion and delivered with such authority it is as if it has been hewn from the very landscape itself. Michael Hight’s Mt Hutt Station (2014) is a compositional masterpiece, filled with particularities, infused with light and matter of fact, seasonal, details.
There are significant sculptures by Chris Charteris, John Edgar, Paul Dibble and Mike Crawford. Joanna Braithwaite’s incisive, visual puns Notes on Nursing (2013) and Charm School (2013) are being shown in New Zealand for the first time.
Jenna Packer’s Seduction of Zealandia (2013/14) has a multi-layered narrative about the morality of the financial world, and the vanities of human behaviour.
Te Rongo Kirkwood (currently exhibiting at the prestigious De Young Museum, San Francisco; and next year at Auckland Museum) is represented by the transformative glass and black flax strand cloak Nga Tuaitara o Taikehu (Black and Red) (2014), first shown at Te Uru, in the opening exhibition at the magnificent new public gallery in the Waitakeres.
Nigel Brown’s Wilderness (2013) is iconic in structure and intent, presenting his archetypical black-singlet man reborn as a protector of what once he would have felled, arms crossed in an image of nurture and restraint.
Chris Heaphy’s silhouetted Grace and Poise (2014) is a parabolic time capsule, filled with suggestive events, symbolic vignettes, in which we witness a cultural and social journey where everything faces west.