Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to eyeCONTACT, a forum built to encourage art reviews and critical discussion about the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. I'm John Hurrell its editor, a New Zealand writer, artist and curator. While Creative New Zealand and other supporters are generously paying me and other contributors to review exhibitions over the following year, all expressed opinions are entirely our own.

Friday, March 28, 2008

No kiddie-winks

Andrew McLeod: New Works
Ivan Anthony, Auckland
27 February - 29 March 2008

This show of McLeod’s is a curious mixture of several large sumptuous oil paintings, a digital print, and little, black and white, orthogonal, perspective-preoccupied, linear paintings.

Killeen is omnipresent in McLeod’s practice but he has been for a long time now.

I like the digital prints. They are pretty entertaining with their imagistic juxtapositions, densely packed fine detail, and obligations I suspect to Guillermo Kuitica. Their attraction is that you can never get it all on first hit. There is always good stuff you miss.

McLeod’s luscious oil paintings seem so nursery based I find them irritating. Children under 12 should be banned from galleries and all artists (except me) medically ‘corrected’ so they cannot breed, and so be corrupted. I favour art that is about the seriousness and challenge of adult existence, not Rupert Bear type fantasies.

The small black-lined paintings are much better, but very odd in their thick ornate, gold frames. These highly eccentric works are strangely good because they are blatantly hermetic with their perspectival experimentation, referencing with Killeen, Sol LeWitt and Josef Albers. I like the fact they are about art and its own production.

McLeod is one of those artists who even if you loathe all he does, his work nevertheless is distinctive, and worth looking at. I like it even when it gets under my skin. The big paintings I find suffocating but those prints are peculiarly liberating.

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