The Earl Street Journal encapsulates what has quite simply been a remarkable year for New Zealand art, both nationally and internationally.
Lisa Reihana, representing New Zealand at the Venice Biennale 2017, has participated in major exhibitions in many countries. Maori Chief (2016) from the acclaimed In Pursuit of Venus (being shown at Venice) and Sabino from the mythic spell-binding Pelt series (2010) demonstrate the vast accomplishments and considerable breadth of her practice.
There are new paintings by Stanley Palmer, J S Parker, Andy Leleisi’uao, Reuben Paterson, Simon Edwards and Nigel Brown. A suite of three very significant works encapsulating distinct acclaimed periods and styles by Dick Frizzell are featured.
Paul Maseyk, one of the most innovative ceramists to have emerged in recent times, (already being collected by public galleries and international collectors), is represented by a suite of authoritative large-scale terracotta vases. Mark Mitchell’s Brancusi (2016) is likewise another work of very rare and real accomplishment. John Parker, the subject of a survey exhibition at Te Uru and a major accompanying book, is represented by the Shiny White Still Life (2015) set. This wonderful work explores form and (negative) space in a dramatic manner where changing light presence and the fluxing role of shadow alters each time one looks.
There are key glass works by Galia Amsel, Layla Walter, Ann Robinson, Christine Cathie and the genre-bending Te Rongo Kirkwood (following on from her recent important exhibitions at Auckland Museum and de Young Museum, San Francisco). New sculptures from Paul Dibble and Neil Dawson and Harry Watson are included.
Joanna Braithwaite’s characteristic use of paradox, humour and anthropomorphic metaphor is demonstrated in three important paintings (Time will Tell (2013), Grand Times (2013/14), Top Tip (2012)) referencing the traditions of Victorian portraiture.
There are major paintings by Garry Currin (Occupied Territory (2007)), Neil Frazer (Black Sand Valley (2008)), Michael Hight (Mt Hutt Station (2014), Waitaanga (2016)), Darryn George (Piki #2 (2013)), Bruce Hunt (Into Shadow - McPhies Ridge and the Dunstan Mountains (2012/13)) and a superb Ralph Hotere museum-standard corrugated iron work, A Black Union Jack (1989/90).