The Review 2021 develops an extended conversation about structure and symbol.
Darryn George celebrates the essential spirit of all kind. Utilising a bright and celebratory palette he presents life as if a stage. He compartmentalises this into those watching and those participating, using the metaphors and allegories of Christian belief as the core narratives in endless questions about what do we value and what do we believe?
Robert Jahnke uses the infinity of optical effect and the diverse plurality of ‘X’ in his acclaimed neon lightboxes: does it denote the spot; is it the number ten; the core structure of weaving? All these things? At once? Grounded in matauranga Maori as a way of knowing Jahnke co-joins narratives of time and cultural wisdom.
Neil Adcock using pounamu renews - as he examines - the traditions and vocabulary of the ‘tiki’. Presenting pounamu in thin slices, Adcock reveals the stone itself to have an internal atmospheric palette that is strongly suggestive of landscapes and other things. Significant amongst the numerous attributes of these time-travelling works is the distinct character and individual personality revealed with each tiki.
Ian Scott’s Lattice works - acknowledged as one of the most important extended series in New Zealand art - while never intended by him to be anything but an exploration of abstracted structure and colour chromatics, are now read by the audience with significant – culturally informed – weaving patterns and techniques added. Fully demonstrating the adage that important art comes to have a life of its own, the Ian Scott lattices undoubtedly remain one of the most considerable and foundation achievements in and of New Zealand art.
Ben Pearce’s corten-steel sculptures ceaselessly alter from one viewing position to another. Utilising an abstracted cubist language of geometric shapes rising like branches off a twisting trunk, Pearce embellishes the flattened planes by articulating edges, folding and disrupting angles. This playful yet cerebral process of adding and subtracting, of presence and absence, builds a most distinctive language of ever-altering forms in space.