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
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, '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.
Miroslav Tichy, 'Untitled', n.d.
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.
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.
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.
Leg of Lamb is a big fan of Peter Roche so it’s exciting to see his work included in a group exhibition at the artist’s lair in Point Chevalier, Auckland. Head along to witness kinetic sculpture, film and ‘live art’.
Original Orifice at The Ambassador Bar, Great North Road, Auckland, 3pm to 2am, Saturday March 20.
Ai Weiwei, 'White House', 1999
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been confirmed as the 11th commissioned artist to fill the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. The installation opens in October.
Jess Lucas, 'Joanna', 2010
Currently on display at Neon Parc, Jess Lucas’s candy-coloured paintings feature female subjects that look a little bit wrong. They have waxy faces, shifty eyes, forced smiles. In a similar vein to her 2008 General Manager series, these works play with the surface of things. Picking at the facades of the sitters, the artist conjures up expressions that convey both what a subject might choose to convey and try to hide. Sometimes a smile wears thin, something astutely observed in Lucas’s watery strokes of paint.
Jess Lucas (and Sean Bailey) at Neon Parc, 1/53 Bourke Street, Melbourne, closes on April 3, 2010.