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.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Three by three

Julian Dashper: 1994, 2001, 2008
Simon Ingram: 1996, 2002, 2008
Salvatore Panatteri: 1998, 2003, 2008
18 September - 6 October 2008

This unusual show of two Kiwis and an Aussie consists of three works for each artist. Dashper, the eldest of the three, has his works spaced seven years apart; Ingram the middle guy, has six years between each; and Panatteri (from Sydney) the ‘baby’, five years separation. Pretty clever.

The great thing is that within each year the artists have chosen their pieces carefully. The nine items though varied, really resonate and interconnect. All three artists are interested in conceptualism, monochromes and photography, though two technically are painters and the other uses photographic processes instead of pigment or canvas.

Panatteri has a large square piece of blue card that is in fact a protective layer covering light sensitive paper. It is called Untitled (Infinite Monochrome Black for Kazmir Malevich) and plays off against Ingram’s Spirit Level Painting, a yellow square fastened to a yellow vertical spirit level. Both works converse with Dashper’s Untitled (Self portrait as French Peasant) – a pair of small stretchers sandwiched together in a double thickness.

Another work of Dashper’s is a horizontal and vertical bar leaning against the wall as a potential ‘half’ painting. It reflects a work of Panatteri’s that consists of two thin brown triangles that seem identical but which are not. They are positioned to imply a third negative triangle placed between them, and are made of exposed photographic paper. Their shaped sharp edges catch the room’s fluorescent light, and are called Untitled (Incandescent series II).

This is an elegant understated show, perfectly installed in Newcall’s T-shaped room. Perhaps the work’s materials could have been listed in the catalogue in greater detail – the information is a bit skimpy and sometimes doesn’t really explain the production processes clearly. Nevertheless, the show is an exceptionally fine one.

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