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

JH

Valentine’s Bronzes

AA
View Discussion
Hannah Valentine, Grips, slips, of space, a memory, 2016. Installation View. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland.  Photo by Sam Hartnett Hannah Valentine, Grips, slips, of space, a memory, 2016. Installation View. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland.  Photo by Sam Hartnett Hannah Valentine, Grips, slips, of space, a memory, 2016. Installation View. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland.  Photo by Sam Hartnett

The weights of these small masses are hard to second guess. They often tax your arm muscles more than anticipated (that is the point: the eye can't provide prerequisite information because the forms often are not simple) - and sometimes colourful streaks of brown appear in the metal. The ‘squishy' shapes are often peculiar and funny, mimicking mechanics' or carpenter tools, painting hanging hooks, bangles, rings, barbells and knuckledusters.

Pakuranga

 

Hannah Valentine
Grips, slips, of space, a memory

 

12 November 2016 - 26 February 2017

After recently presenting her bronze sculptures in last year’s New Perspective‘s show at Artspace (a complicated installation with spread around freestanding plinths and bright green walls), Hannah Valentine’s current show at Te Tuhi has a different approach. The metal objects are now linked to the ‘Drawing Wall’ to which the blue foam covered platforms (on which they rest) are attached: three rows of ten. The sculptures are meant to be carried around the different galleries, as long as they in the end are returned to that wall.

Stimulated by the portable sculptures of Franz West and some of the radical ideas of Franz Erhard Walther, Valentine’s ‘conservative’ (by way of cast bronze) sculptures line up on a tidy grid of blue-cushioned, projecting square platforms. A few of the cast forms look geometrically pristine and industrial. Most however are knobbly and organic, the casting clay manually kneaded, pulled, twisted, squeezed and stretched - and prodded by finger tips or pressed into palms.

The weights of these small masses are hard to second guess. They often tax your arm muscles more than anticipated (that is the point: the eye can’t provide prerequisite information because the forms often are not simple) - and sometimes colourful streaks of brown appear in the metal. The ‘squishy’ shapes are often peculiar and funny, mimicking mechanics’ or carpenter tools, painting hanging hooks, bangles, rings, barbells and knuckledusters.

With the white wall and compressed blue foam the colour blue has quite a presence in the static component of this installation, and if the bronzes are removed, as small hovering fields, the platforms can be linked to the brilliant writings of William H. Gass and Maggie Nelson - because of the associations and uses of that hue. The blue has a sacramental quality. It is almost Kleinian, but with an added whiff of the ecclesiastical and ritualistic: accentuated by the similarities of bronze with gold. There is a hint of aristocratic opulence.

With Valentine’s method here, the sculptures are not permanently stationary (locked in one location) but accessories that migrate around the venue, visible when clutched by moving visitors. They abandon the projecting blue grid painting on the wall and become jewellery to be worn (looped over fingers or arms); toys to be hooked onto belts or edges of clothing; bonelike units to be peered through like glasses.  Once picked up, these items are too heavy to be ignored or forgotten about.

Thus they become kinetic objects connected to vertical human forms moving horizontally. Avoiding the grotesquely large, they are subtle. Not immediately apparent. Old fashioned but innovative.

John Hurrell

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Installation of James Cousins' Song Chain at Gow Langsford.

Percussive Cousins

GOW LANGSFORD GALLERY

Auckland

 

James Cousins
Song Chain


8 July - 1 August 2020

JH
Raul Ortega Ayala, still from The Zone, 2020, from the series From the Pit of Et Cetera, single channel HD video, 5:1 sound, 36 mins 2 secs

Connecting Chernobyl, Mururoa and Rainbow Warrior

TE TUHI CENTRE FOR THE ARTS

Pakuranga

 

Raúl Ortega Ayala
The Zone

23 May - 16 August 2020

JH
Olivia Webb, still from Anthems of Belonging, 2019 (Tiibin family). Tannin Bwanaan Tebetebeke (Voices from the Pacific Ocean): composed July 2018 – September 2019 for 5-part voice and guitar, 5 mins 40 secs. Courtesy of the artist

Paeans to Diversity

Te Tuhi online digital presentation

Auckland

 

Olivia Webb
Anthems of Belonging


7 July (noon) - 14 July (noon) 2020

JH
Peter Robinson, Preparatory drawing used for promoting Rag Trade.

Robinson’s Carpet of Explosive ‘Tantrums’

23 GORDON ROAD

Auckland

 

Peter Robinson
Rag Trade


25 June - 4 July 2020