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.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Crockford on K' Rd

Patrick Lundberg
Sue Crockford Gallery Project Space
Dec – Jan holidays

This window display by Patrick Lundberg, the recent winner of the TWNCAA in Hamilton, takes his interest in subtraction as a method of historical analysis (when applied to gallery wall surfaces) and transmutes the frame motif he has used previously into a Peter Halley-like cell or circuit. Here the space it is in is a crucial component (though not in a site-specific sense). It is the window by the entrance to the old Teststrip space on K’ Rd - now Gambia Castle. It has been for some months a little annex for Sue Crockford and this is its fifth or sixth show.

In this glass ‘tank’ Lundberg uses the worn doors of a small cupboard. It looks like a fusebox, and that reference makes it reflexive, alluding to the hermeticism of the art world as an isolated cell. On the doors is a vertical lozenge and a smaller wheel form, and together the two seem to allude to Crockford’s downtown gallery and this street frontage. Other meanings could be different art world circuits that are separate communities.

Lundberg’s cleverness is that there is more than morphology involved. The image’s significance goes beyond shape, for there is a chronological element where historical traces are implied through scraped away paint. Change is built in as Lundberg exposes where old layers have been covered over by new ones.

This window gallery is a shrewd tactic by Crockford to catch the eye of those traipsing Auckland’s ‘art mile’ along K’ Rd. A good way of luring prospective clients from the top down to the bottom of Queen Street.

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