Francis Van Hout is having an on-going conversation with cubism. In the noticeably harmonic Alpine View series he reinterprets the classic New Zealand landscape into rhythmic arrangements and linear structures. Similarly, in the Mother Mary works he simplifies the traditional Christian icon painting into a sequence of shapes and attitudinal dispositions.
Natchez Hudson also questions and upends traditional landscape hierarchies. Through alteration of style, scale and context, he places apparently disparate visual languages together and forges these into a distinctive and coherent whole. Using non-typical compositions and a constructivist approach in his innovative use of cast acrylic and wood, Hudson unites the visual authority of hyper-realism with the emotional exhilarations of colour-field abstraction.
Always suggestive and celebratory, Russell Moses builds wondrous and powerful sensations of place. He uses the repetitions of shape and pattern and a constrained palette like the chorus of a song through and above which light hovers. Beguiling white light moves back and forth, building presences and experiences for the viewer that alter and develop markedly.
Yuki Kihara’s Coconuts that Grew from Concrete recently shown at the 2021 Auckland Art Fair is an extended series of collages. In Kihara’s characteristic manner pictorial elements drawn from the annals of classical European art are subjected to intervention. The attitudes and racial perceptions embodied in the notional ‘Noble Savage’ (so fundamental in the practise and histories of early photography in the Pacific) are disruptive devices which she uses to turn the gaze back upon the coloniser and Europe itself.
Simon Clark juxtaposes ideas of nature while developing ideas of culture. He explores kiwiana as a reality, while asking how is identity to be found or formed? He contrasts objects and symbols, uses the inherent language of flowers and words as mythic devices. There are presences and sensations in his work which are magical. The beautifully scumbled, gold leaf surfaces build conversations with religious iconography and the processes of time.