The Review has become an important overview of contemporary New Zealand art.
Four Christchurch based artists who have managed to work through the almost daily problems of an apparently endless sequence of earthquakes feature prominently - Neil Dawson (whose iconic Chalice outside the devastated Cathedral has stood tall as a metaphorical beacon of hope) is represented by an outstanding new work in the extended Sweep Series. Darryn George’s Tribute: G Parker uses the letters of words as geometric pattern, building a visual language which directly accesses religious symbolism and Maori culture. Callum Arnold’s rare ability to blend place and memory, to morph fact with fiction, has been widely acknowledged and in Cold Pass he takes the viewer on a layered journey into the Southern Alps. Graham Bennett’s characteristic Head Space I combines a curving structure with surface relief patterns and an environmental language imbued with narratives of geography and time.
Michael Hight’s painterly virtuosity is to be witnessed in the courageously successful Tararua Range. Ceramist, Art Laureate 2010, John Parker’s Still Life for Keith & Ernie # 7 is a homagistic poem of form and negative space. Mike Petre and Stanley Palmer are represented by works of fundamental character.
The flared, slightly twisted, rising form of Ann Robinson’s Curved Vase is a triumph of refined elegance. As the viewer’s eye reaches the four corners of the rising and falling lip Robinson has introduced a vane sculptural detail that is a design tour de force. Luke Jacomb (whose solo exhibition of new work has just opened at Otago Museum) is represented by a Reticello Paddle first exhibited at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Recent Ranamok Glass Prize winner Sue Hawker displays the astonishing pate de verre accomplishment of Too Much.
The Review also includes key paintings from Karl Maughan, Garry Currin, Peter James Smith and Bruce Hunt amongst others plus the beautiful simplicity of Emily Siddell’s lei and kete forms.