Brett Graham: Tai Moana Tai Tangata – update

Brett Graham’s exhibition Tai Moana, Tai Tangata opened at City Gallery Wellington recently. More details here. Reconfigured for the CGW galleries, the exhibition drops two works and gains the new work below, Monument (2020). There’s a new RNZ interview with the artist this week too.

The Govett-Brewster’s earlier version of the exhibition is now available as a virtual tour, here.

Brett Graham, Monument (2020) at City Gallery Wellington. Photo: Paul Brobbel

Brett Graham: Tai Moana Tai Tangata

Here’s the first in several updates over the coming months on the Govett-Brewster’s latest exhibition, Brett Graham: Tai Moana Tai Tangata. More details on the exhibition here. The exhibition is curated by Anna-Marie White.

Radio NZ covers the exhibition here and Taranaki Daily News has two pieces here and here. Below is an interview with exhibition curator Anna-Marie White on Access Radio Taranaki.

Fa-fa-fa-fa-fashion

This week’s big news is Dries van Noten’s announcement of their summer 2021 collection – inspired by Len Lye. This was something that’s been under wraps since New Zealand’s Covid19 lockdown earlier this year and an uplifting way to start seeing out the year. And hopefully anticipating a better 2021.

Check out the international coverage of the summer 2021 collection with the New York Times, Vogue, Forbes, and Esquire. First coverage in Aotearoa via the New Zealand Herald’s Viva.

Dries Van Noten SS21 Menswear and Womenswear Collection | September 30, 2020 
PHOTO CREDIT: VIVIANE SASSEN

Lye’s experimental films inform many of the pieces in the collection. Particularly works like Trade Tattoo and Rainbow Dance, both made in the 1930s and many decades ahead of MTV.

What’s interesting is that even before Lye was making these films, he dabbled in textile design (an area I’ve spent much of the last year researching). Not long after arriving in London in 1926 and settling in Hammersmith, Lye connected with the Footprints workshop. Established by Gwen Pike, Elspeth Little and Celandine Kennington at Durham Wharf in 1925, Footprints was known for produced hand block printed fabric, curtains, coats and shawls. You can see some examples of the studio’s work here.

Lye’s work associated with the studio largely involved batik scarves and cushions which he likely sold in the Footprints shop to aid his finances while working on his first film, Tusalava. A few examples are extant in the Len Lye Foundation Collection including several works documented below.

Len Lye: Motion Composer, Museum Tinguely, 2019. Photo: Paul Brobbel

The two larger works above are Watershed and Pond People, both made in the late 1920s. Lye retained these two scarves (or shawls) himself and Watershed he claimed to be his favourite work of all. Other works were either sold or gifted to friends. One was gifted to Gertrude Stein sometime around 1930 and another gifted to Laura Riding. Riding’s shawl featured in the transition magazine in 1929.

Len Lye, ‘Laura Riding Shawl / Jacob’s Ladder’, 1929

Extended by popular demand

Pleased to say the Sky Snakes exhibition will be extended until April 2021 given its huge popularity with our audience and the interruptions of Covid19. We only just installed the work before Aotearoa went into its lockdown. But back up and running for the last few months, it’s been a big hit.

Here’s my favourite photograph of the work. The photographer is Jürgen Eisenhauer.

Weekend Reading

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The four issue of the Midwest magazine founded and published by the Govett-Brewster in the 1990s are now available online for free here – a project lockdown allowed me to finish.

This week was a good time to return to Erin White’s coverage of curator Chaedria LaBouvier’s experience working with the Guggenheim.

Lucy Ives at Art in America on Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne.

Erika Balsom and Barry Schwabsky each review Hal Forster’s What Comes After Farce? Art and Criticism at a Time of Debacle.

New Publication – Caleb Kelly’s ‘Tangible/Intangible: The Sound of Sculpture’

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s new issue in the STATEMENTS essay series is now available for purchase at the Gallery shop. Commissioned in association with the Govett-Brewster’s 2018 exhibition ‘Sensory Agents‘ and edited by exhibition curator Sarah Wall, Tangible/Intangible: The Sound of Sculpture looks to sculptural practices that explicitly employ sound as a medium.

Scholar and curator Caleb Kelly explores the development of sound arts through sculptural form and installation practices. The practices that he investigates uncover a changing understanding of the nature of sculpture itself and a new perspective of the importance of the senses in our appreciation of the arts. Tangible/Intangible includes examples from a diverse range of international artists such as Laurie Anderson, Vicky Browne, Eric Demetriou Rafael Ferrer, Rebecca Horn, Paul Kos, Len Lye, Ross Manning, Max Neuhaus, Jean Tinguely, Takis and Pia van Gelder.

Order a copy here.

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Tangible/Intangible: The Sound of Sculpture is published as part of the Govett-Brewster’s STATEMENTS series of commissioned essays. Other titles in the series include texts by Len Lye and Erika Balsom.

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Lockdown Reading #1

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Edward Hopper, ‘Second Story Sunlight’, 1960

Having recently spent some time with the  Fondation Beyeler Edward Hopper exhibition, this piece in the Guardian caught my attention – the artist of the coronavirus age?

Oliver Basciano at the TLS on Europe’s last leprosarium.

The Guardian reviews Diana Souhami’s new book No Modernism Without Lesbians.

Listening to this interview with curator David Campany alongside a virtual tour of Walker Evans Revisited at Kunsthalle Mannheim – both here.

And Bob Dylan’s new track … (an elegy for the counterculture at Pitchfork).