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Gamper and Friends

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Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai Martino Gamper: Swamp Table, 2019, 44,000 year old swamp kauri; Midcentury Velvet #1-4, 2019, chair of teak, kauri and velvet; Notahookvase, 2019, stoneware Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detail Martino Gamper, Midcentury Velvet #1-4, 2019, chair of teak, kauri and velvet Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai Installation of Martino Gamper's Hookaloti at Michael Lett, detai

These are not ordinary hooks bought in a packet, but unique handcrafted objects made from a wide range of materials. They are not fine enough for the Annual Arts Society Autumn Exhibition or (if with barbs) for Easter holiday fishing, but chunky sculptures to be savoured as individual aesthetic objects. And I doubt you'd let coats touch them.

Auckland

 

Martino Gamper
Hookaloti

 

3 April - 4 May 2019

Hooks galore, peppering the walls and columns—all around the ground floor and down the stairs to the basement. The motivation that positions these Gamper works is not like say, Richard Killeen‘s 1996 interest (at McLeavey’s) in C. M. Beadnell’s Objects and Images from the Cult of the Hook—not for hanging art that reflexively is about representations of hooks (or the sociology underpinning them)—but functional in a more prosaic and pragmatic sense: ostensibly for coats in a cloakroom; suspending them safely away from the dirt on the ground. (The show’s title is perhaps some sort of oblique inhouse joke about Pipilotti Rist?)

These are not ordinary hooks bought in a packet, but unique handcrafted objects made from a wide range of materials. They are not fine enough for the Annual Arts Society Autumn Exhibition or (if with barbs) for Easter holiday fishing, but chunky sculptures to be savoured as individual aesthetic objects. And I doubt you’d let coats touch them.

Gamper‘s bent linear forms come out of cast aluminium, silver, copper, coloured glass, recycled plastic, stoneware and wood—in three sizes. They greatly intrigue, but for my money they don’t dazzle as did Gamper‘s extraordinary chair exhibition in Wellington a few years ago. (I was so besotted by its inventiveness and humour I didn’t want to leave: he had raised the ‘bar’ so high.)

At Lett’s, presented on the main floor near the bay most distant from the windows, Gamper also displays a gorgeous kauri Swamp Table, its surface inlaid with glowing quadrilateral shapes, with four elegantly colourfully upholstered chairs, plus an arabesque Notahookvase made of stoneware.

Downstairs in the ‘vault’—and in the adjacent corridor—we find an assortment of two Francis Upritchard watercolours (she is next door too, with a show at Ivan Anthony’s), thirteen items from Gamper (including plates and stools), twelve from Lisa Walker, seven ceramics from Laurie Steer (who recently showed at Bowerbank Ninow), one ceramic from Jaime Jenkins, three stunningly decorated bowls from Nicholas Brandon (NFS), and fifty-four items of jewellery / platterware from the inimitable Karl Fritsch. There is a lot there to scrutinise; it is a stunning array of body ornaments and utensils.

The two floors have different moods. The basement is more cluttered and claustrophobic—the walls are draped with heavy paper through which bolts protrude on which the jewellery is suspended—while the big space above it spreads Gamper‘s hooks around in a sweeping panoramic fashion.

Fun shows to poke around in.

John Hurrell

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