Exhibition Opening Monday 23 April, 6pm
TEN is a group show of recent paintings by 10 artists who completed their Master of Fine Art at Elam School of Fine Art, University of Auckland in 2010.
This very diverse group of 10 artists are linked through their individual investigation into painting as a medium. This show presents a range of conceptual projects and ideas in a medium more than 10,000 years old, yet still relevant to this century. The show reflects on how painting continues to be a fertile ground for contemporary emerging artists.
The 10 artists are exploring ideas and concepts through painting. They are nudging boundaries by obeying or disobeying the rules, mixing, revisiting and borrowing from last century’s practices. However none of them engage with purely figurative work or with representation in the traditional sense. Abstract painting seems the modus operandi of thisgroup of 10, with styles varying from gestural and intuitive expression, to hard-edged word paintings and geometric abstraction. Some of the artists draw from architecture, others explore the materiality and physicality of paint and paintings, others create minimal gestural site-specific works within the exhibition space.
A broad conversation with painting is established in this show, with contrasts and similarities between the works of different artists prompting an interesting discussion about the state of painting in NZ today.
The idea backing this medium specific exhibition stems from Jan Verwoert’s 2005 lecture ‘Why Are Conceptual Artists Painting Again?’. One of the topics discussed in this lecture was why painting could be considered in isolation from other media as a relevant subject for an exhibition. A possible answer that was presented is;
‘Yes it is. It is even necessary to discuss painting qua painting, because that is the only way to investigate its true significance. The enormous potential of what art can do as art only emerges when art deals with the laws, limits and history of a specific medium. The semantic depth of a painterly formulation can only be adequately appreciated if it is understood as the result of a process of dialogue with the medium.’
-Jan Verwoert, 'Why Are Conceptual Artists Painting Again? Because They Think It's a Good Idea', Afterall, Issue 12, Autumn/Winter 2005