Monthly Archives: March 2010

Hot Photo Friday – Anne Noble

Anne Noble, 'Bob and Moira', 1977

Octavia Cook at Anna Miles Gallery

Octavia Cook, 'Restored Madam Kokku Kaisha', 2009

Octavia Cook, 'Restored Madam Kokku Kaisha', 2009

Octavia Cook uses jewellery – particularly the cameo – as a means of exploring the possibilities associated with commemorative portraiture.  Full of autobiographical references and playfully rendered in acrylics, sentimental symbolism is eschewed by mixing benign subjects including herself (pictured below in the guise of a Japanese matron) and her cats with historical figures like James Cook.  Playing off the intimate with the official, her disingenuous pieces offer a contemporary, conceptualised take on the traditions of costume jewellery.

New to the gallery cabinet: Rare and Recent Cameos by Octavia Cook, Anna Miles Gallery, 47 High Street, Suite 4J, Auckland, until April 1.

Artes Mundi opens March 11

Olga Chernysheva, 'Untitled', 2008

An exhibition of artists shortlisted for this year’s Artes Mundi Prize opens at the National Museum in Cardiff, Wales, on March 11.

The eight finalists are: Yael Bartana (Israel / Netherlands), Fernando Bryce (Peru), Ergin Cavusoğlu (Bulgaria / London), Chen Chieh-jen (Taiwan), Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev (Kyrgyzstan), Adrian Paci (Albania / Italy) and Olga Chernysheya (Russia).

Leg of Lamb is rooting for Moscow-based Chernysheya, who documents contemporary Russian experience in a range of media.  The seal of approval?  She shows with hot dealer gallery Foxy Production in New York.

Hot Photo Friday – Juergen Teller

Juergen Teller, 'Louis XV', 2004

Leg of Lamb loves Harrell Fletcher

'Assignment #63 - make an encouraging banner', submission by Shira Bannerman, Poughkeepsie, New York

Part artist, part facilitator, American artist Harrell Fletcher’s projects often operate outside of the art world’s conventional parameters, focusing on people’s everyday lives and experiences.  As NGV curator Alex Baker states, ‘Fletcher’s art is really all about you, rather than all about him’.

In 2002 Fletcher developed Learning to Love You More, a website and series of non-web presentations with Miranda July.  The project consisted of submissions by the public completed in response to various tasks generated by the two artists.  Assignments included: ‘take a photo of your parents kissing’, ‘make an encouraging banner’, ‘write your life story in less than a day’ and ‘draw a constellation from someone’s freckles’.  Over 8,000 people were involved in the project which ended in 2008.

The artist is presenting a lecture entitled Towards a tender society of thoughtful questions and answers at the Clemenger BBDO auditorium, NGV International, Melbourne, on Saturday 20 March at 12:30PM.  Fletcher is developing a project for the NGV that will open in September.  He will also be working with Artspace, Auckland, later this year.

Wangechi Mutu – Deutsche Bank’s Artist of the Year

Wangechi Mutu photographed by Annie Liebovitz for Vogue

The first-ever Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year award, which aims ‘to promote young contemporary artists from all over the world’, has been won by African multimedia artist Wangechi Mutu.

Mutu was selected by the Deutsche Bank Global Art Advisory Council consisting of big-time curators Okwui Enwezor, Udo Kittelmann, Hou Hanru and Nancy Spector.  As part of her win, 37-year-old Mutu will have a survey exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin and a selection of her works on paper will be acquired by the Deutsche Bank Collection.

Wangechi Mutu, 'Drowning Nymph III', 2007

Scott Redford – Dead Board 3

Still from Scott Redford's 'Dead Board 3'

Leg of Lamb avoided the throngs of people queueing for the incredibly popular Ron Mueck show at the NGV on the weekend in favour of a wander around the permanent collections.  The highlight was a video work by Queensland artist Scott Redford.

Dead Board 3 features a succession of Ozzie beach babes struggling to saw though styrofoam surfboards.  Their  job is difficult (and comical) given their tiny frames and precarious stance – they kneel on boogie-boards that slide around beneath their bronzed bodies.   As tension mounts, we expect each girl to admit defeat.  Instead, when one babe finally completes the task, she is replaced relay-style by another, and thus the ‘dead boring’ cycle continues…

Work by Scott Redford will feature in Scott Redford versus Michael Zavros at the IMA, Brisbane from 5 June – 17 July, 2010.