Taking place over two floors, the 2019 Spring Catalogue exhibition evidences the significant international stature of contemporary New Zealand art: Yuki Kihara (just announced as New Zealand’s 2021 Venice Biennale artist) is represented by two remarkable and astonishing lenticular photographs, openly acknowledging the links between Samoa and the Ngati Kahungunu of Hawke’s Bay.
Navarra Patiki Ma (2014) is a masterful receding neon infinity work by 2019 Wallace Award recipient Robert Jahnke. Dick Frizzell, artist in residence at Henderson House in Alexandra earlier this year, is featured with Burnt Stump (1999), a work of considerable critical importance, the location defining atmosphere of Shaded Track (2012) and the text loaded rural poetry of Red Painting (2018).
Chris Heaphy has a unique visual language which melds moments together in traversing abstraction and representation techniques. Silhouetted by painterly space, fluid, musical and arrestingly beautiful, Heaphy places cultural motifs in Great Mercury (2004), Perfect Day (2018) and Here Comes the Sun (2018) which reach into place and back in time.
Neil Adcock’s singular Tiki Series using slices of pounamu, silver and gold function as animated drawings in space. Terry Stringer’s Artist and Model (with Absent Face) (1998) is a quintessential work drawn from his private collection. The dramatic Venus Temple (2019) and Round Temple Head (2018/19) were first shown at the 2019 Auckland Art Fair.
Darryn George’s garden of Eden-inspired Mara Series of works represent both a significant change in his work and a continuation of his dominant spiritual concerns. Neil Frazer uses impasto and contrasting textures in acclaimed works such as Shadow Melt. Michael Hight’s Buller River (2018) and Motueka River (2018) are outstanding paintings with much to say. His surreal dream-like Maniototo (2019) is both a parable and a puzzle.
Andy Leleisi’uao’s paintings, part-hieroglyph, part-riddle and game, break down the barriers of time and cultures, blurring the distinctions between animal and human, morphing from object to image and back again in a ceaseless dialogue about how we behave and what we value. Simon Clark depicts objects, symbols and advertising styles as artifacts of cultural memory.
Neil Dawson uses shadow, articulated shape, and refracted light in his trademark, unforgettable manner. Chris Charteris’ critically acknowledged acute sympathy for stone is seen in three compelling works of basalt, andesite and pounamu.