Monthly Archives: March 2010

Thomas Ruff at Gow Langsford

Thomas Ruff, 'nudes on14', 2006

Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, is exhibiting a selection of work by renowned German photographer Thomas Ruff.  While it’s exciting to see his photographs in this neck of the woods, the show could have done with a bit of pruning.  The space is filled with bits and pieces from various series executed in the mid to late ’90s and the selection seems cluttered and incohesive.

The stand-outs are Ruff’s nudes, particularly ‘nudeson14′ (above).  Made without a camera, the images are gleaned from porn sites and enlarged and obscured digitally.  This painterly effect not only enhances the formal elements of the composition but literally blurs the line between art and pornography.

Thomas Ruff: Photographs, Gow Langsford Gallery, 26 Lorne Street, Auckland, until April 24

Jeena Shin at Artspace

Detail of Jeena Shin's 'ARTSPACE Stairwell Project (1973-) 2009-2011' at Artspace, Auckland

Leg of Lamb spent the weekend in Auckland fitting in as much art action as possible.  One of the highlights was located in the stairwell of Artspace on K Road where Jeena Shin has been working on a mural that climbs up the two levels to the gallery.  

Executed in Shin’s signature style, simple geometric forms are built up layer upon layer in subtle tones, their delicate outlines thrown into relief by  shifts of light.  Commissioned by Artspace director Emma Bugden, Shin will continue to work on the ARTSPACE Stairwell Project (1973-) 2009-2011 for the duration of Bugden’s tenure. 

Jeena Shin is represented by Two Rooms, Auckland.

Madeline Kidd at The Narrows

Madeline Kidd, 'Grapes and Pearls', 2008

Leg of Lamb has been indulging in the smooth sounds of yacht rock recently (you can listen to a prime example of the genre here).  How fortuitous then, to catch Madeline Kidd’s exhibition Cruise Collection at The Narrows.

Brightly coloured and highly decorative, Kidd’s paintings are filled with glamorous ’80s-style imagery – think resorts, poolside parties and all the trimmings.  In the flyer that accompanies the exhibition Kidd describes the exhibition as ‘A painted world of breeziness, lightness and ease.  Chocolate wrappers and Prada, cocktails and cool wine, desire and appetite are the favourite things’.  Despite this celebration of all things fabulous, the physical flatness of the paintings hints at the superficiality of such decadent scenarios.

Neverthless, you should indulge.   Take the artist’s advice and: ‘lie back, put your shades on, sip your cocktail…and take in that view.’

Madeline Kidd, Cruise Collection, The Narrows, 2/141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne until April 9.

Hot Photo Friday – Miroslav Tichy

Miroslav Tichy, 'Untitled', n.d.

Sophie Ristelhueber wins 2010 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize

Sophie Ristelhueber, 'Eleven Blowups No 1', 2006

French photographer Sophie Ristelhueber has won this year’s £30,000 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, beating out fellow finalists Anna Fox, Zoe Leonard and Donovan Wylie.  Ristelhueber photographs the impact of human conflict upon architecture and landscapes in places like Bosnia, Iraq and Kuwait.

You can view a selection of photographs from the Jeu de Paume exhibition for which she was nominated here.

NEW010 at ACCA

Installation shot of Alicia Frankovich's 'Medea', opening night at ACCA.

Leg of Lamb reckons this year’s NEW is patchy at best.  ACCA collaborated with exhibition designers Nexus Designs, who divided the gallery into seven different sites.  Each artist was assigned a separate space and asked to ‘respond’ to it.  No doubt an interesting brief for Nexus employees, the concept is gimmicky and unnecessary.

The highlight of the exhibition is Kiwi Alicia Frankovich‘s installation, Medea, that consists of a bounty of garden plants, abundantly fruity and…suspended upside-down from the ceiling with climbers’ harnesses.  Formerly a gymnast, performance is a significant part of Frankovich’s practice.  Here, she takes a step back.  Frankovich sees the suspended plants as extensions of the human body.   The vegetation grows, fruits and drops, and these inevitable transformations are crucial to the installation.  Medea‘s metamorphoses warrant return visits.

NEW010 runs at ACCA, 111 Sturt Street, Melbourne, until May 23.

Tate Director steps down

Vicente Todoli

It has been announced that Vicente Todoli, Director of the Tate Modern for the past seven years, will be leaving the institution.  Despite this, he will continue to work with the Tate on selected projects.  His successor is yet to be confirmed.