In a Nutshell

The 2011 Auckland Art Fair was noticeably smaller than previous years, with former Aussie attendants like Roslyn Oxley9 and Anna Schwartz absent this time around. Despite this, the fair took well to its new home at the Viaduct Events Centre and proved to be a hive of activity.  Here’s a round-up:

Most memorable suit:

Artforum Publisher and AAF Keynote speaker Knight Landesman’s bright orange ensemble.

Biggest WTF moment:

Spotting Gow Langsford’s Karl Maughan clad promo girls at the Vernissage. Pimping paintings on screen-printed tunics worn by dolled up teens – really?!

Most dangerous artwork:

Helen Johnson’s El Grande, 2007.  This quilted work was installed on the floor of one of the the event centre’s main thoroughfares until a gentleman had the misfortune to slip and fall upon it, wiping out on the concrete floor.  El Grande was promptly removed.

Best furniture:

At Hamish McKay’s stand, care of Francis Upritchard’s squeeze, Martino Gamper.  (Photo courtesy of Over the Net)

Most confusingly appealing artwork:

Campbell Patterson’s sultana bran, spit and towel ensembles exhibited by Michael Lett.

Noticeable absence: 
Hopkinson Cundy, who were deemed too young a business to be included this year.  Despite this, it was Hopkinson Cundy that organised the Vernissage after-party at Swashbucklers, where Wellington dealer Hamish McKay indulged in a little dancing on the tables.

In a Nutshell

Michael Parekowhai – ‘The Moment of Cubism’

Michael Parekowhai, 'The Moment of Cubism', installation view

Leg of Lamb was lucky enough to catch the last day of Michael Parekowhai’s exhibition, ‘The Moment of Cubism’ at Michael Lett in Auckland recently.  The gallery was almost entirely filled by a pair of giant elephant bookends, up-ended and butting into walls.  These creamy pachyderms were both monumental and playful but it was a small series of sculptures that stole the show.  Tucked away at the rear of the gallery sat a selection of twiggy shrubs.  Each piece was cast in bronze and the pallet on which some of them sat was bronze too.

Michael Parekowhai, 'The Moment of Cubism', installation view

Obviously, these little lemon trees will end up in disparate locations, maybe purchased by private collectors or public institutions.  Like his previous series, ‘Ten Guitars’, however, Parekowhai envisions that the sculptures will be brought together again some time in the future and exhibited as a full set.  At $40,000.00 a piece this will be a very expensive orchard…

Michael Parekowhai – ‘The Moment of Cubism’