Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.


The Slippery Slopes of Political Meaning

View Discussion

Looking at this earlier work from an artist who has made works with swastikas and texts like ‘Pakeha have rights too' and ‘Boy, am I scarred?' it provides a semantic filter through which we can observe the ‘Pakeha' chains ‘unbound'.


Peter Robinson
SOLD OUT: Works from the 1990s

19 August - 12 September 2009

It should be obvious to all that re-examining Peter Robinson’s work from a decade ago brings benefits because of (and not in spite of) the many changes within his practice since. This exhibition of a small group of secondary sales can’t be seen in isolation from much later work like say that at Jar still publicly visible from a footpath in Morningside. Gow Langsford here allow us to speculate why via the Venice Biennial route of quantum physics, Robinson moved towards a more formalist, more material-oriented and experiential practice that is much less language-based - far from the double-edged, post-postcolonial critique of national (or, as in the case of much of this show, global) land sales shown here.

Some might consider Robinson to have ‘sold out’ with his ‘white’ polystyrene chain installations, yet there are connections to his future projects even in this show. Looking at this earlier work from an artist who has made works with swastikas and texts like ‘Pakeha have rights too‘ and ‘Boy, am I scarred?‘ it provides a semantic filter through which we can observe the ‘Pakeha’ chains ‘unbound’.

We can see the outrageously provocative layering of using black, red and white as both Maori and Nazi colours as part of his critique of commercial avarice to convey maximum uncertainty and personal ambivalence. We can ponder over the drawing in a NFS paintings of a ‘Ratana’ plane that (like a 4 in a ‘For Sale’ sign) could almost be a swastika. Such loaded ambiguities (another is an inverted Italy above a pound symbol) have similarities with the less confrontational blue duck/rabbit forms of his ARTSPACE ACK show, and the solid white polystyrene oval form at Jar, and it’s sister the linear chain link, that reference IO, the Maori Supreme Being.

The large crate ‘world’ with its empty centre leads to the quantum voids of Venice; the geographic leap from Aotearoa to Germany to later sequences of chains, their different sizes - and Robinson’s rapid shift from local to national to international to cosmic. Part of this is the flipping backwards and forwards between northern and southern hemispheres, the upside down and the upright, the high black and low white interest.

Gow Langsford’s website (and hand-out) provides an excellent interpretative commentary on the five works being resold here. A great opportunity to see these immensely metaphorical works once more.


Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email


Recent Posts by John Hurrell

Alfredo Jaar, Other People Think, 2012, light box with black and white transparency. Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, purchased 2016

Reason and Sentience in Others




International contemporary collection sampler
Other People Think

10 March -10 June 2018

Imogen Taylor, Imposter Syndrome, 2017, acrylic on canvas; Isobel Thom, Stacking Storage Boxes, Teapot, Cup and Trivet, Bottle Bell, Geodesic Cup and Salt Pigs. Photo: Sam Hartnett

Taylor, Cochran and Thom




Imogen Taylor (with Vita Cochran and Isobel Thom)
Pocket Histories,


10 February —13 May 2018

Natasha Matila-Smith (all 2018, poly-velvet blend, spray paint):  The Scent of You Stays With Me; His Lips Pink and Swollen; Spaghetti, Alone.

Bad Education

ST PAUL St Gallery



Louisa Afoa, Natasha Matila-Smith, Molly Rangiwai-McHale, Faith Wilson
Between You and Me


19 April - 1 June 2018

Tony Cragg's exhibition as installed at Gow Langsford. Photo: Tobias Kraus

Cragg at Gow Langsford




Solo show
Tony Cragg


8 May - 9 June 2018