After reading CherylBernstein’s wonderful review of Rita Angus in Christchurch, and some ensuing discussion I realised how art ignorant I really am.
The thing is I still don’t really understand “curation” even with this great description courtesy of Alibi. I had not considered for example the role of the designer in how a show looks.
The thing is I now have even more questions regarding the Rita Angus exhibition and also the subset of works “on tour”. So here are some of my questions and the reasons why I want to know.
Just what is the designers role in staging such an exhibition?
How were works initially selected ie by what criteria? At Te Papa there seemed too many, in the touring show it seemed to me important works were missing. And then I saw some wonderful Angus works at the Eastern Southland Art Gallery that weren’t included (or apparently considered).
The arrangement of the Te Papa exhibition was around this pretext(from Bronwyn Lloyd)
“Rita Angus’s own description of the ideal way to present her art has determined the structure of the ‘Rita Angus Life & Vision’ exhibition, beautifully curated by Jill Trevelyan and William McAloon. Angus’s friend John Money recalled that she imagined her work displayed as a ‘kind of temple of art’ with her three Goddess paintings at the centre surrounded by a series of small chapels containing smaller paintings and watercolours related one to the other.”
So this explains the maze effect at the initial show (which is, as I understand it, replicated in Christchurch). BUT if the three goddesses are so central, why are only two “on tour”?
I want to say that I loved the Life & Vision exhibition as I loved Trevelyan’s book. The exhibition was a bit like the movie version :-). A particular thing I appreciated was the inclusion of sketches and unfinished works so you could get a feel for the process and lots of context (bordering on too much in a gallery situation?). As a historical show yes definitely comprehensive and diligently researched and maybe my earlier gripes are design issues rather than curation?