Two exhibitions by renowned New Zealand artists open at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū in August.
Max Gimblett: Ocean Wheel celebrates the Auckland-born, New York-based artist and Zen master’s expressive use of colour and ink, while Dane Mitchell: Post hoc – first staged at the 2019 Venice Biennale – conjures up millions of extinct and obsolete things.
Gallery Lead Curator Felicity Milburn says the exhibitions reflect two very different ways of seeing and thinking about the world, connected through an interest in the intangible.
“In a time of change and upheaval, Max Gimblett’s works remind us of the expressive power of colour and form, while Dane Mitchell’s practice calls attention to all we’ve lost as a result of the modern emphasis on growth and progress,” she says.
Featuring drawings, paintings, artist’s books and prints spanning Gimblett’s career from the 1960s to 2010, and including pieces from both his colourful quatrefoil-shaped and enso (Japanese ink painting) series, Ocean Wheel acknowledges the artist’s major gift of works to the Gallery in 2011.
His work also features in several major United States museum and gallery collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the National Gallery of Art.
Meanwhile, Post Hoc reflects on the endless demand for growth and progress, revealing unrelenting loss and extinction as the present becomes the past.
It focuses on long lists of lost entities – such as failed utopias, burnt books and extinct languages – which are read by an automated voice within a chamber before being transmitted to stealth cell towers disguised as trees on the Gallery forecourt, in the Botanic Gardens and at 88 Worcester Street.
They simultaneously take printed form in the Gallery as a forlorn and continually growing archive, delivering a potentially endless dataset.
Both exhibitions open on Saturday, with Max Gimblett: Ocean Wheel on show until 15 November and Dane Mitchell: Post hoc closing on 1 November.
Curator Peter Vangioni and former Gallery director Jenny Harper will speak about Max Gimblett’s practice at the Gallery on Saturday, 1 August 2020 at 1pm, and Dane Mitchell will give a talk about Post hoc on Sunday, 2 August 2020 at 3pm.
Top: A work from the Max Gimblett and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett gift.