John Hurrell – 22 December, 2010
The Estate of L. Budd is pretty tetchy with its contribution as well, pulling from its archives a painted blind that with its scribbled text raises the question of 'whether we know that after the order of this world, there is another'. There are two provided answers: one says 'is there?' and the other says 'fuck off' - avoiding the accommodating spirit of genuine philosophical enquiry, and claiming in essence that it is such a stupid question.
Everything is near and inflorescent, forever and present
3 December 2010 - 23 December 2010
In this diverse group show, a Christmas stock display involving some twenty artists and thirty-eight works, we are encouraged to think about the various exhibitions presented in Michael Lett’s Karangahape Road gallery over the last two or three years. Chiefly because it is the last presentation before he moves to his larger new space in Great North Road. It opens in early February.
So with this last K’ Rd exhibition, there is much to enthuse over. There is a transparent glass replica of an old fashioned fire extinguisher by Steve Carr, delicately brittle and containing Auckland air (as if a reference to Duchamp’s 50 cc of Parisian Air). Dan Arps has a gorgeous blue flag (Spa Pool Conception) that seems to show a poached egg in a pool, guarded by two jaundiced tadpoles (they might be spermatozoa approaching an ovum.)
Hany Armanious’ sign, Fuck Off Back To Fag Land, with its elegantly tilted sans seriffed letters, could be a meditation on homophobia, an amusing mimicry of verbal hostility. It could also be an attack on gay attempts at heterosexuality or bisexuality, or (even more unlikely) a derisive jibe at an unrepentant smoker.
The Estate of L. Budd is pretty tetchy with its contribution as well, pulling from its archives a painted blind that with its scribbled text raises the question of whether we know that after the order of this world, there is another. There are two provided answers: one says is there? and the other says fuck off - avoiding the accommodating spirit of genuine philosophical enquiry, and claiming in essence that it is such a stupid question.
Continuing this use of calculated ambiguity, Simon Denny has a wonderful sculpture of found parts: a green plastic bucket inserted into the waist of a pair of rust coloured track-suit bottoms so they look portly and can be hung from the wall via the handle. The pants have been ironed out to add new creases, and leg length altered to make the extensions slightly comical. Buckets, being normally holders of water, in this context may suggest urination, adding to the humour.
Nearby is also a lovely little painting by Seraphine Pick of what could be unshelled peanuts, but which also might be red testicles or breasts extruded like a bear turd. Slightly repulsive but cute.
Also conspicuously sweet is a Juan Gris fixated work on pegboard by Diena Georgetti, playing off the grid of holes against the painter’s manipulation of the picture plane with guitar and stair shapes. It is unabashedly decorative, a pretty work that along with the intricate Peter Madden collages on glass, is a foil in the show for other much rawer (initially unattractive but still compulsively intriguing) items by Dan Arps, Jacqueline Fraser, Simon Denny and Mary Teague. The latter play with unusual materials and unorthodox marks, are gritty and confrontational, and probably reflect overall the house style of this gallery and so, Lett’s taste. An intriguingly varied exhibition.
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