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, April 11, 2009

Christmas in April

Tim Maguire: Refractions
Gow Langsford
7 April - 1 May 2009

Here we are amidst the nippy autumn temperatures of Easter and Gow Langsford have a show of paintings that look like Christmas wrapping paper. They are by Tim Maguire, a well known Australian artist who doesn’t often show in Auckland. His paintings of trees surrounded by descending coloured snowflakes, set against blue or purple starry skies, definitely have that festive December aura. Good for the children’s nursery.

The other images, of rippling coloured lines floating on the surface of a dark body of water (but with colour separations), seem influenced by David Hockney’s seventies LA swimming pool paintings - but with several dark filters added. As framed arabesques digitally printed on paper they are curious on gallery walls, but within a DVD that is being screened in a small back room, they are much more successful. Away from the ‘Christmas paper’ of the front gallery they have another slightly loftier context. They take on a more serious purpose, become more investigative of shimmering light and moving retinal sensations.

Maguire’s optical digital experiments with filmed light on or under water are more interesting than his dark glowing static paintings. Hopefully he’ll do more. Maybe we’ll also see more DVDs from other international artists at Gow Langsford? Easy to courier, not bulky like paintings, there are many reasons why there could be a lot more moving image to come to Lorne St.

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