Jun 19 2020

What’s Up in Auckland: June–July 2020

by ArtAsiaPacific

ROBERTA THORNLEY, My Head on your Heart, 2020, archival pigment ink photograph on Hahnemühle photo rag, unframed: 75 × 100 cm, framed: 77 × 102 cm. Image via Tim Melville’s Facebook page

Roberta Thornley: “My Head on Your Heart”

Tim Melville

Jun 9–Jul 4

In conjunction with the 2020 Auckland Festival of Photography, Tim Melville Gallery presents My Head on Your Heart (2020)a series of haunting, arresting, and whimsical images of balloons by Roberta Thornley. The photographs appear as formal studies, depicting the object in various colors and states of deflation, yet they brim with emotional significance, drawing connections to Thornley’s memories of childhood as well as her mother’s angioplasty procedure. 

LAYLA RUDNEVA-MACKAY, [Untitled], 2019, oil on canvas, 100 × 140 cm. Image via Starkwhite’s Instagram.

Layla Rudneva-Mackay: “ACC bcc Bananas”


Jun 9–Jul 4

This exhibition marks an introspective turn in Layla Rudneva-Mackay’s practice, as she takes a deeply intimate, incisive approach to the painted still life. Created following the birth of her first child, Rudneva-Mackay’s series provides insight into the psyche of a new mother, expressing experiences of pain, love, and frustration. Known for her performance photography and oil canvases of everyday objects, Rudneva-Mackay returns to painting with a new sensibility. Her still lifes of fruit arranged into expressive faces reveal her unequivocal humor and desire to express herself during a particularly grueling, transformative moment of her life. 

STELLA CORKERY, Lost Weekend, 2020, oil and gesso on canvas, 91 × 61 cm. Courtesy Michael Lett, Auckland.

Stella Corkery: “Paradises” / Michael Morley: “Studies for a Revolution”

Stella Corkery and Michael Morley both continue their explorations of how music and painting inform each other in their respective exhibitions, “Paradises” and “Studies for a Revolution.” Corkery’s energetic gestural paintings depict what she describes as “playing . . . or painting into the future,” where mind and body are constantly trying to keep up with each other. Morley takes a more meditative approach, with repetitive watercolor studies of guitar amplifiers floating in space: sound-makers that are devoid of sound. Corkery, a close friend and ex-bandmate of Morley’s, selected the pieces for his show. 

Installation view of AMANDA GRUENWALD’s Violet, Pink, Golden Ochre, 2019–20, acrylic, alkyd and oil on canvas, 140 × 170 cm, at “FUTURE 4 × 3,” Trish Clark Gallery, Auckland, 2020. Courtesy the artist and Trish Clark Gallery.

“FUTURE 4 × 3”

Trish Clark

Mar 1–Jul 4

FUTURE 4 × 3” highlights the practices of photographer Chris Corson-Scott, and painters Amanda Gruenwald, Eemyun Kang, and Brendon Leung—four emerging artists who engage in different ways with the past and present. Gruenwald’s abstractions, for instance, subvert the tradition of American color-field painting, while Corson-Scott’s portraits of local activists protesting the development of the Māori settlement Ihumātao foreground pressing issues surrounding native land rights. 

Installation view of PAUL DIBBLE’s “Four Sculptures” at Gow Langsford Gallery, Lorne Street, Auckland, 2020. Photo by Tobias Krau. Image via Gow Langsford’s Facebook page.

Paul Dibble: “Four Sculptures” / Virginia Leonard: “Breath Holder”

Gow Langsford

May 13–Jul 2 / Jun 10–Jul 4

“Four Sculptures,” at Gow Langsford’s Lorne Street gallery, surveys the past 35 years of sculptor Paul Dibble’s career. The presentation is anchored by four monumental sculptures—two of birds, two of abstract biomorphic forms—that exemplify key recurring motifs in his oeuvre. At the gallery’s Kitchener Street location, “Breath Holder” showcases Virginia Leonard’s evocative ceramic sculptures—dripping piles of clay, resin, and glaze that embody the artist’s “attempt to rid [her] body of trauma.”

Installation view of SRIWHANA SPONG‘s Now Spectral, Now Animal, 2019/20, multimedia installation, dimensions variable, at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2020. Image via Auckland Art Gallery’s Facebook page.

“Honestly Speaking: The Word, the Body and the Internet” / “Civilisation, Photography, Now”

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Feb 22–Aug 30 / Jun 13–Oct 18

“Honestly Speaking: The Word, the Body and the Internet” brings together four individual, room-size presentations by Shahryar Nashat, Sriwhana Spong, Frances Stark, and Martine Syms. Through videos and immersive installations that combine sculpture, painting, and digital elements, the artists explore the rapidly transforming relationship between humans and technology, reconsidering ideas of interior and exterior worlds, as well as the intersection of innovation, power, and racial and gender politics. The Auckland Art Gallery’s newest show, “Civilisation, Photography, Now,” examines the contemporary milieu, with works by the likes of Richard Misrach, Candida Höfer, Pieter Hugo, Taryn Simon, and An-My Lê that document the built environment, and the visible and invisible networks that connect us.

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Silverlens SAM Opera Gallery 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art ARNDT