Archive for July, 2011

A hat trick

Completely serendipitously I have managed to see three Ralph Hotere exhibitions in the last 2 weeks.

First was the show Zero to Infinity at the Hocken Collections celebrating Hotere’s 80th birthday and described as “highlights milestones and lesser known moments in the prodigious career of Ralph Hotere“. It was a mixed bag drawn from the Hocken’s and private collections. It included some great pieces and the selection showed some of the range of his work.

A week later we were in Invercargill and took our usual look round the Southland Museum and Art Gallery. Here they had Ralph Hotere Figurative Works: Carnival, Song Cycle and the Woman Series I’d only seen these works before in the book Desire of the Line . These drawings are worth seeing as it gives a whole different aspect to Hotere’s work. One similar drawing was in the show at the Hocken.

And lastly on Sunday during a snowy drive back to Dunedin we took refuge at the Eastern Southland Gallery in Gore. This small gallery always has stunning things on and we managed to see exhibitions by Andrew Ross and Don Binney as well as works from their substantial Hotere collection. I think if I had to pick, this was my favourite Hotere show of the three, but probably because it featured one of my favourite Hotere paintings, which I can’t find an image of, but it was a black RAIN banner (inspired by Hone Tuwhare’s great poem).

Hocken Gallery exhibition assistant Jay Hutchinson hangs the 1997 Hotere work Red/Black ready
Photo by Gerard O’Brien.

NOTE: I just heard that Hotere’s Black Phoenix will be on show at Wellington’s City Gallery soon as part of the Oceania show. SEE IT – I consider it one of NZ’s best artworks.

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Read this book

I found myself raving about this book to someone earlier in the week so I thought I’d rave blog about it here too.

Edmond sets out to trace the route of Colin McCahon when in 1984 on a trip to Sydney 1984, he went missing in the palm grove in Sydney’s Botanic Gardens, and was found by police early next morning in Centennial Park, kilometres away. Framing the journey in part with the stations of the cross, Edmond explores not only the city but the nature of art, faith and loss. Personal experiences and stories intertwine with the McCahon narrative and tangents led on to diverse subjects such as Carmen Rupene, John Calvin and circus elephants. A certain sadness permeated the book, and to me it read as a kind of secular requiem for McCahon.

Yet again Auckland University Press has shown faith in it’s authors with this modest and yet courageous book. I loved it.

Dark Night: Walking with McCahon by Martin Edmond
July 2011,
ISBN 978 1 86940 483 3
Paperback, 208p,

Pie Jesu

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