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

JH

Fruits de mer

AA
View Discussion
Second Date Miss Mister Maryanne

Hooper’s images are very knowing in their eclecticism. They expect you to spot the references, for the hybridity is deliberately not hidden under the mantle of a newly absorbed ‘originality.’ They flaunt their art historical origins openly.

Auckland

Julian Hooper

Once Inside

25 November - 23 December 2009

 

The six Julian Hooper paintings and one drawing shown in the K’ Rd end of the Ivan Anthony premises develop his interest in Surrealism in a more pronounced way than previously – when his method was pitched slightly differently: maybe now they seem an even more quirky version of Archimboldo. As before (as in his ‘K’ Rd’ section last year) these are all portraits. Some large canvases this time.

Usually these standing figures are made up of marine life and fruit: catfish or flying fish balanced vertically on their tails, with split apples or unraveling, peeled oranges or empty seashells balanced precariously on their snouts. The dominant mood is that of Max Ernst, but the references often include Miro, Dali and Magritte.

Sometimes the portraits are a different combination, using decorative motifs of church architecture and voluminous, brightly patterned, peasant dresses. The images seem to be satirical when considered collectively, as if an attack on pomposity but also gender clichés. The men are rendered as rigid and wooden, the women as soft flowing, undulating forms of fabric.

Hooper’s images are very knowing in their eclecticism. They expect you to spot the references, for the hybridity is deliberately not hidden under the mantle of a newly absorbed ‘originality.’ They flaunt their art historical origins openly.

Whether there are metaphoric tropes intended with the rendered objects is another question. Is there a precise Renaissance type of symbolism involved with say the fruit and fish? That seems implausible. More likely they have been chosen for the simplest of reasons - that fish make nice long supple bodies, and fruit make good heads. And that they entertain with their celebration of artifice mixed in with poetic resonance.

There could also be an underpinning, sharply dualist, interpretation going on here - that the contemplative mind (i.e. the exposed fruit-head) is sweet and juicy but the aging or unwashed (fishy) body is repulsive and smelly. Probably though the reasons are morphological, just the pleasures of shape alone, rather than bearing a specific message.

Hooper’s paintings are getting more decisive and confident with their compositional placement and scale now. Yet they have a looseness and lack of spatial density that is an intriguing foil for the Saskia Leek show further up the corridor. If you are the same as me and a bit of a sucker for Surrealism, you’ll like this show.

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
David Shrigley, Untitled, 2018, acrylic on paper, 500 x 370 mm. Courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery, London  ©David Shrigley

Shrigley’s Coloured Works on Paper

TWO ROOMS

Auckland

 

David Shrigley
Works on Paper

 

1 February - 2 March 2019

JH
Still from Lara Arellano's Mientras paseo en cisne (2010)

Memorable Short Videos

TE TUHI CENTRE FOR THE ARTS

Pakuranga

 

International videos
Unlikely Transits (Trânsitos Improváveis)

 


1 December 2018 - 10 March 2019

JH
Jim Allen's Community (1973) on the top floor sculpture court of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.

Seventies Auckland Avant-Garde

AUCKLAND ART GALLERY TOI O TAMAKI

Auckland

 

Group show

Groundswell: Avant-Garde Auckland 1971-79

 


8 December 2018 - 31 March 2019

JH
Richard Frater, Stop Shell (live rock version), 2019, fossilised coral, 3D printed macroscopic graphs, coral organism, marine aquarium, bio-media, plexiglass, 1480 x 400 x 400 mm

Richard Frater Solo Show

MICHAEL LETT

Auckland

 

Richard Frater
Indifference

 

23 January - 23 February 2019