Abstractions connects the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Collection to Fiona Connor’s new commission, Object Classrooms, and gives our audience the chance to see a broad range of formal, abstract works from the late-1960s to early-1980s
Curated by Tendai John Mutambu and Sophie O’Brien
Abstractions: Work from the Govett-Brewster Collection takes inspiration from the adjacent exhibition, Object Classrooms, by the Los Angeles-based New Zealand artist, Fiona Connor. The exhibition of abstract painting and sculpture from the Govett-Brewster Collection focuses on the influence of hard-edge geometric abstraction on artists in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Abstractions connects Connor’s interests in the work of Los Angeles-based geometric abstractionist John McLaughlin to the formal experiments undertaken by New Zealand painters in the latter part of the 20th century. The exhibition reflects the concerns that informed the acquisitions programme of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery – the country’s only dedicated museum of contemporary art – and its approach to collecting painting.
The collection works on display date from the late-1960s to the early-1980s. They cover a range of formal approaches from the optically illusory work of Richard Killeen and Gordon Walters to the expanses of colour in the work of Gretchen Albrecht, Don Driver, Alberto Garcia-Alvarez, Milan Mrkusich, and Don Peebles. Abstractions: Work from the Govett-Brewster Collection also includes a trio of newly refurbished geometric sculptures by Darcy Lange – Formality I, Formality III, and Extended Formality I – all recently restored to their original finish.