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Art is Not Black or White

A play on words, yet never a truer word was spoken? This topic is the theme surrounding a compelling exhibition being held in conjunction with the Auckland Arts fest ...

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A play on words, yet never a truer word was spoken? This topic is the theme surrounding a compelling exhibition being held in conjunction with the Auckland Arts festival and White Night this month at Warwick Henderson Gallery. The exhibition includes artists with a diverse range of styles and palette – yet there is a very consistent theme.
“Every original artwork is different in some way and everyone holds their own opinion on art, and so they should”, states Gallery Director Warwick Henderson. “But one of our basics tenants is that we have always promoted art which offers more than a gimmick, a one clutch principle or a short term concept”.
Some artists in the exhibition have well deserved and established reputations such as Max Gimblett, Roy Good, Fatu Feu’u and Philippa Blair. The younger brigade such as Alexander Bartleet, Nick Wall, Amy Melchior and Darryn George are still building already enhanced reputations. Henderson goes on to say “all the art in this exhibition has been built on several fundamentals and common denominators of contemporary art practice. These include strength of palette and pigment, well planned composition and design, and last but not least a good degree of ingenuity and originality, you see, not much to it at all really” he quips.  “But these things are often the sum of the parts to a successful artwork, or indeed even a masterpiece.  It is not quite as simple as Andy Warhol’s Statement “there are two types of paintings – those that work and those that don’t – but to counter with another quote, perhaps “often never a truer word was spoken in jest”!  Henderson talks about these theories in his recently published book “Behind the Canvas”, but he says you can read as much as you like but nothing beats seeing artwork first-hand. “There is no doubt works like Blair’s appropriate work Heatwave and Gimblett’s Happy Joyous and Free, display a wonderful shower of colour, vibrancy and movement. In Blair’s case the layering of the paint is quite three dimensional. In works such as Bartleet’s White Rough Landscape,Darryn George’s Rarohiko #15 ,Roy Good’s Octagon-Ring and Nick Wall’s Space creator series #3 the colour has been reduced ,in some cases to monotone black and white or 3 simple colours. The effect is no less powerful however and other elements such as meticulous planning and design play a far more important roll.  Henderson states “it is the combination of these elements and the ability of the artist to conjure up and present a successful work which separates the best from the rest”.
There is a broad selection of stunning individual artworks in this exhibition, the first in a series of group shows which celebrate the Galleries 25 years situated in Parnell. Henderson previously operated out of offices in Emily place in Auckland City before building an award winning purpose built gallery in Bath St, Parnell. Come along, view the artworks and freely express your opinion. “Art after all is all about expression”, says Henderson

 

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