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.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Celebrating Abstraction

New Vision: the New Vision Gallery 1965 -76
Curated by Joanna Trezise
Gus Fisher
11 July - 16 August 2008

New Vision was one of the very first dealer galleries in this country, and this sampler of key works that they (the proprietors, Dutch immigrants Kees and Tine Hos) sold is pretty impressive. In fact there are no fizzers anywhere. It’s well put together in terms of chosen works.

The trouble is the GF gallery space is distracting with its marble floor and ornamental doors, and there is too much work. The three components of painting, ceramics and works on paper would be better presented in three separate rooms. The space is far too crowded.

What I’m saying here though opposes the Bauhaus ethos that New Vision upheld, of not separating craft and art. Total anathema. The issue would be further convoluted if sculpture were included too.

Nevertheless this is a good show to visit if you want to see Phil Clairmont at his tightest and very best. There is also a gorgeously minimal Don Driver, two extraordinary Gordon Walters koru paintings (one ochre!), and a lovely horizontal Milan Mrkusich with three large circular Jungian symbols. The Louise Henderson triptych and Rudi Gopas are likewise impressive.

Of course this is a history show, but these works still live and breathe. There is lots of juice left in them yet. Particularly the paintings.


artandmylife said...

You make me want to get to Akl to see this

John Hurrell said...

Thank you for the support. Please use your name next time, or else I'll have an unseemly tantrum.