Just announced Wallace Award 2017 Paramount Winner Andy Leleisi’uao paintings may at first seem somewhat enigmatic, as if narratives without an ending or beginning … but quickly an amalgam of ambiguous forms and objects, sequences and hieroglyphs emerge which function as visual parables of human endeavour and internal spirit, reaching right across time.
Lisa Reihana’s panoramic works from the internationally acclaimed Venice Biennale 2017 video are extraordinary cross-media boundary-pushing technological achievements. (And it very, very beautiful.) In Omai and Obeera / Hawaiian Hula / Chiefly Pursuits (00000 / 00525) Reihana focuses upon the cultural dynamics and allure of the Pacific emphasising the indispensable role performed by Omai in Cook’s journeys and endeavours.
J S Parker (1944 – August 2017) made a singular and considerable contribution to the story of New Zealand art. His acclaimed, distinctive palette-knife works are colour-infused distillations of environmental phenomena, moods and atmospheres; landscape, place, time of day and season.
Neil Frazer’s Jump Point viewed from some distance is startlingly realistic, monumental and uncompromisingly exact. Seen close it alters into abstracted painterly marks and nuances lit by powerful sensations and imbued with emotional suggestions. It is an extraordinary achievement.
Considerable environmental concerns and dialogues inform all of Hannah Kidd’s major works. In her new series Tropical Invasion Kidd dramatically explores perilous tipping-point issues, contrasting menace and beauty. Kidd’s rare, unmistakable authority and technical virtuosity is clearly evident in Rosette Spoonbill.
Garry Currin’s magical Small Portions of the Eternal World is a major painting that seems to defy any adequate description: everything is in a state of motion and flux, to be altering and changing as we look – specific details, colours, the imminence of events emerge seemingly from nowhere but then to coalesce momentarily into a state of stillness. We are out at sea, looking back to a coastal landscape: a gigantic wave begins to grow and roll…
Harry Watson’s idiosyncratic Murder Bay is filled with surreal peril and gluttony. Nigel Brown’s Mind Slab conflates the present and past into a metaphor of transition, linking the archetypical black-singlet man to how history has come to change and inform him.
Michael Hight’s Smoker stands atop clustered beehives, as if a beacon. Karl Maughan’s Colpham Avenue hides a path between rounded forms and an orderly mosaic of patterned colour.
Darryn George combines the architecture of text with carving patterns in Piki 2. John Edgar’s celestial lens-form Full Moon exhibits his rare sympathy for combining different materials. Paul Dibble’s The Calm is a geometric celebration that paraphrases the female form.
There are new ceramics from Mark Mitchell, John Parker and Paul Maseyk; new sculpture by Tania Patterson, Shane Woolridge and Neil Dawson; and Mike Crawford’s poised Huia Pair.