Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Art chart


CNZ income and expenditure trends.

You can read the full CNZ briefing to their new Minister Maggie Barry here

Big

Staying with our friend theatre designer John Parker we came across a file box full of tiny furniture. Dozens of small chairs, tables, lamps, beds, benches and couches all made to inhabit the set models John designs. In the spirit of art-is-where-you-find-it we've put a selection of the best (ok, cutest) ones up here on their own tinyfurniture Weebly website. And because we stole the title from Lena Dunham's movie, here's a link to that too, well the trailer anyway.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When art collectors pose on furniture

Art collector Carmen Busquet in her Paris apartment

'No' means ... whatever

The photography/no photography thing has jumped the shark with the Auckland Art Gallery banning it from their Light Show. If ever an exhibition could do with some buzz via photography this is the one. What is it about the connection between light and the camera the AAG doesn't understand? Maybe it's because Light Show is such a Po-Lite show that they don’t want too many images out there to alert the punters. Most of the works fall into one of three camps; reflected colour on the walls, reflected lights via mirrors or sparkling things. There’s certainly nothing that’s going to flare out, give you a sunburn or surprise you or the kids. "Extrasensory"? not so much. Some imaginative pics from out of the hive mind could do nothing but good.  They could make the show look more lively and give an entertaining reason to visit. 

It's a weird omission. When it suits them our museums are all too keen to invite us to post images of their exhibitions onto Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest. When it doesn’t the shutters come down. Now there’s a third even more irritating variant of the photography rules, the you-can-photograph-this-one-but-not-that-one sign. It's time to get over this. Anyone who photographs the work and tries to make commercial gain out of it, go after them by all means (if in fact this ever happens) otherwise, chillax.

Images: Pics of Light Show. In the spirit of things we only photographed the walls.

Monday, November 24, 2014

PS

"We'll be moving away from the passive physical engagement of the past and looking to technology innovation here out of New Zealand, as well as what others are doing and learn from that and hopefully bring something quite magic alive."

Te Papa CE Rick Ellis interviewed by TV1 on 10 November 2014

OK…well, good luck


The new CE of Te Papa Rick Ellis starts work today.

"The board and chairman, Evan Williams, have reassured me that the issues that have been widely publicised over the past 18 months or so have been addressed and the organisation is actually in great shape for a new leader like me to come in and take it forward," Mr Ellis said.
Te Papa CE Rick Ellis interviewed by TV1 on 10 November 2014

“The Te Papa Board is faced with considerable challenges over the near term, as it reconciles a necessary period of fiscal consolidation with the need for significant capital investment in the museum infrastructure, and a desire to share more of the national heritage and scientific collections with the nation. These challenges are accentuated in the short term, as the museum goes through a period of capability rebuilding following its recent organisational realignment.” 
Briefing to the incoming Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage October 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

One day in the OTN editorial offices



Editor: Is that piece on the changing role of curators in the digital world ready for Saturday?

Features editor: No

Editor: Not to worry we’ll put up this Homer Simpson nail art tutorial video.

And they did

Friday, November 21, 2014

Art in the workplace

Art hard at work in the foyers of the world

Pic of the week

Is Jim Allen the oldest performance artist still standing? He’s definitely the oldest standing operating a chainsaw and with Marina Abramovic at 66, Vito Acconti 74, Gina Paine and Carolee Schneemann just a year older and even Yayoi Kusama a youthful 85, we reckon the honours most definitely go to Allen at 92. On Wednesday night about 50 people watched him recreate the performance On planting a native from 1976 that involved cutting down a small tree and representing it on the gallery wall. In the audience was art writer and critic Wystan Curnow who has been a strong supporter of Allen and the other performance artists of the seventies. It was quite something to see Curnow transfixed by the performance as though it were the first time he had seen Jim Allen at work. He even edged closer mid-performance to take more pictures. Turns out that Curnow is also that other essential glue to the art world, a fan.

Image: Wystan Curnow photographs Jim Allen at Michael Lett

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wonder woman

"The art world is an old boys’ club. People tend to promote people who are like themselves. The barriers to financial success persist for women artists as well. Even for the women who have broken records at auction, their prices are still only one-third the value of the top male artists at auction—on a good day."

Barbara Lee, a Boston based philanthropist who only collects art by female artists

Model behaviour

There has probably never been a wackier representation of art in the movies than the 1955 vehicle for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Artists and their models. It was the last Lewis Martin team-up and revolves around the struggles of painter  Rick Todd who has to do billboard work to keep afloat. In a parallel universe the real James Rosenquist was also a billboard painter learning the techniques that he would put into his famous Pop paintings of the early sixties. For Martin and Lewis the billboard paint job inevitably ends in spilling big tubs of the stuff on the client and a passing cop. Still, this rather sorry mess of a movie ends with a big production number on a giant palette, so not all bad. In fact the movie was presented as a satire on the paranoid delusions of the McCarthy hearings via the censorship and control of comics (Lewis is a comic nut in the movie). You can see the billboard sequence here.

Images: top to bottom left to right, Dean Martin ‘paints’ lips high above the street and James Rosenquist in action above Times Square c.1957, whoops, the palette as art signifier, again, and the small poster for the movie with obligatory palette.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When art collectors pose on furniture

Erin Wasson model and art collector

By the numbers

To anyone (that’s anyone living below the Bombay Hills) who doesn’t believe that Auckland is now the Cultural Capital of NZ, here’s some numbers based on the Walters Prize and the Venice Biennale. And they are kind of compelling. Compelling that is if you believe that representation by a dealer gallery is one possible measure of an artist's standing. Anyway, of the 25 artists who have been finalists in the seven Walters Prizes, all are represented in Auckland and just seven in Wellington. Then in the last two Prizes non of the eight finalists are represented in Wellington at all. Of the nine artists who have carried the NZ flag at the Venice Biennale, only three are represented in Wellington. Over both of our major art events then less than 30 percent of the exhibitors are represented by a Wellington dealer. As to the South Island, someone down there can do that sorry sum..

And for the record, the lists:

NZ’s representation at the Venice Biennale:
2001 Jacqueline Fraser and Peter Robinson
2003 Michael Stevenson
2005 et al.
2009 Francis Upritchard and Judy Millar
2011 Michael Parekowhai
2013 Bill Culbert
2015 Simon Denny

Walters Prize:
2002
Yvonne Todd
Gavin Hipkins
John Reynolds
Mike Stevenson

2004
et al.
Jacqueline Fraser
Ronnie van Hout
Daniel von Sturmer

2006
Francis Upritchard
Stella Brennan
Phil Dadson
Peter Robinson

2008
Peter Robinson
Edith Amituanai
Lisa Reihana
John Reynolds

2010
Dan Arps
Fiona Connor
Saskia Leek
Alex Monteith

2012
Kate Newby
Simon Denny
Alicia Frankovich
Sriwhana Spong

2014
Luke Willis Thompson
Simon Denny
Maddie Leach
Kalisolaite Uhila

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Parts of it are excellent

Nice illustration by Robert Neubecker for Ellen Gamerman’s piece on everyone being a curator in the Wall Street Journal. You’ve probably heard some of it before but you can read it here.

One day in the New Plymouth Art in Public Places Trust boardroom

Trustee 1: …and then it whistled through the air almost decapitating the… (looks up) … sorry, are we all here?

Trustee 2: (looks around and counts) Yes, we seem to be.

T1: Excellent. Well it’s that time again. Two years have passed and again we are required by our Deed to invent ... I mean reconstruct, another of Len’s works. Yes, another public sculpture.

(There’s a shuffling of feet and several averted eyes).

T2: Come on everyone. We had a huge success with the big noisy one that went up and down hitting that ball ...

T1: Yes, and the very long one that writhes across the floor is well on the way.

T2: Not to mention Water whirler in Wellington. (looks down at briefing notes) Oh sorry. I see it says not to mention -Water whirler.

T1: This time what we need is something more visually commanding. Something that's more than just one unique single thing on its own moving this way and that by itself in isolation.

T2: How about a whole lot of unique things? You know, more than one.

T1: Brilliant.

T2: Like how about we make a Quadrilogy version of Trilogy, or even a Septilogy…that’s seven of them.

T3: I’ve got it. A Wind wand farm.

(several heads turn)

T4: Do you think Len Lye would have ever done something like that?

T1: Definitely.

T3: It could be a whole cluster of Wind wands bobbing their heads in sprightly dance.

T1: Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. What are we talking. 50? A 100?

T3: I reckon we could easily do six, as long as they’re kind of small.

And that is what they did

LATER: Initially we thought it was the Len Lye Trust proposing this wacky idea. But reading the article again, who exactly is going to do this thing is a bit of a mystery. We are assuming the Len Lye Trust is in there somewhere, the City Council probably, maybe the Govett-Brewster - all jumping the shark together?