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, September 25, 2008

Less folksy Lautour painting

Tony de Lautour
16 September - 11 October 2008

This de Lautour show is a mixed bag of paintings, ceramics and prints, but with the different image-making methods kept apart: woodblock prints on one wall, paintings on the others, ceramics in the director’s office.

The trouble is, it looks lifeless. It’s too similar to a lot of earlier Lautour shows in this gallery, and needs a rehang so the contrasting works resonate dynamically - instead of being kept apart in quarantine.

Over the past couple of years de Lautour’s paintings have been becoming more geometric, austere and planar, and less folksy. Moving away from Hammond and more cognisant of Gordon Walters or Don Driver for example. Cleaner, sharp edges, and more careful and nuanced in their composition – particularly in their placement of letters.

This period of transition seems to be taking him away from detailed recognisable imagery towards broader, simpler, more geometric forms. Abandoning narrative, but oddly, pursuing language - particularly the language of text messaging. A new playfulness with letter shapes is emerging.

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