On 17 December 2016 the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery opens an exhibition of work by Aotearoa New Zealand artists from the 1970s until today, presenting key works from its collection.
All Lines Converge, which fills the spaces of the Govett-Brewster from 17 December 2016 to 20 March 2017, plays with traditional approaches to the concept of a collection show, reflecting the important role of women within the institution’s history of ground-breaking and progressive exhibition-making.
The Govett-Brewster Collection is international, with a focus on the contemporary and the Pacific Rim, and strong representation of work from New Zealand. The collection maps the history of art-making in this country, and the role the museum has played in shaping this.
Three artists and an artist collective who are central to the history of the Govett-Brewster – Fiona Clark, Christine Hellyar, Maree Horner, and et al. – are cornerstones for All Lines Converge. Their works, some existing and some new, act as points of departure, and reflect the exhibition and collection programme that has evolved over the past four decades. Woven between the works of well-known artists are recent and new works by a younger generation, mapping the breadth and diversity of artists working today.
Sophie O’Brien, Head of Exhibitions and Collections and co-curator of the exhibition with Chloe Cull, Assistant Curator, says the Govett-Brewster Collection is unique in its Pacific Rim focus coupling international and New Zealand contemporary art.
“Through the interplay between different generations, certain practices appear and re-appear: photography and the moving image, a turn to text and language, the use of found and existing materials in sculpture, and diverse responses to the body, sound and performance,” O’Brien says.
“This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to relook at what has been collected over the years, and to review what is deemed valuable. Offering an array of existing work and new commissions, the project suggests potential directions for the future and alternative ways of reading the past,” she says.
“And of course it draws on the dynamic and forward-thinking principles of the gallery, which were made possible by our visionary founder and benefactor, Monica Brewster (née Govett).”
Accompanying the exhibition is a room brochure with information on each work, and an artist-designed publication that presents new commissions as well as little-seen historical documentation of the Gallery’s exhibition history. These sit alongside the recently published NOW SHOWING: A History of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, a book mapping the institution’s role in breaking new ground for contemporary art in New Zealand.
The exhibition’s public programmes include a series of films by the pioneering director Merata Mita, as well as Kitchen Sink, a short film by internationally recognised filmmaker Alison Maclean.
List of artists:
Joanna Margaret Paul
Shona Rapira Davies
Susan Te Kahurangi King
Image: Maree Horner Diving Board 1974-98. Govett-Brewster Collection, courtesy the artist
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'This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to relook at what has been collected over the years, and to review what is deemed valuable.' - Curator Sophie O'Brien