Friday, 27 February 2009

Black Gold continues

More photos of Black Gold II being installed for Yinka Shonibare MBE. Each time it is installed it is done in a way sympathetic to the wall it is reproduced onto. It looks spectacular and still needs the canvases attached.

Yinka Shonibare MBE opens tomorrow, 28 February 2009

Image credit:

Installation images of:
Black Gold 11, 2006
acrylic paint, 25 Dutch wax printed cotton canvases
Courtesy the artist, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and James Cohan Gallery, New York

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Arrival of the Ocelots

More coverage of the installation of Yinka Shonibare MBE with these images of the ocelots being unpacked and condition reported by our conservation team. They form part of the work entitled Leisure Lady (with ocelots) which also consists of a life size mannequin walking these beautiful ocelots.

I totally fell in love with these images and it prompted me to do a little research on what an ocelot is. The wonder of the internet produced these results:

Definitions of Ocelots on the Web:

· Ocelot - Ocelot, Oserotto, also known as Shalashaska - Sharashāshikaa mistransliteration of Sharashka and whose real name is Adamska, is a recurring antagonist in the Metal Gear series who was originally introduced in Metal Gear Solid as

· Ocelot - The O-Force is a superhuman mutant team in the Marvel Comics
Universe. Their first appearance was in X-Statix #1.

· oCeLoT aka Aaron Peacock (born 1974 in San Francisco, California) is a record producer and DJ. He has been producing music since 2001 and has released material on Dropout Productions, Vertigo Records, Ceiba Records, and Insomnia Records.

· ocelot - An American feline carnivore (Scientific name: Felis pardalis) covered with blackish ocellated spots and blotches which are variously arranged

· The Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), also known as the Painted Leopard, McKenney's Wildcat or Manigordo (in Costa Rica), is a wild cat distributed ...

· ocelot - nocturnal wildcat of Central America and South America having a
dark-spotted buff-brown coat

I think I will go with the last three for what I am looking for. Here is a 'cute' picture to show you what they really look like in the flesh.

As an interesting aside, I also discovered while researching the ocelots that Salvador Dali kept an ocelot as a pets. One article even suggests his name was 'Ozzie'

A story about Dali's ocelot from here.

Dali's pet ocelot often went with the artist wherever he went. Once at a New York restaurant Dali tied the ocelot to the table leg, and completely surprised an upper
class society- lady. He told her that the ocelot was only a cat, painted with an op-art design. She preferred to believe the ocelot was fake but Dali was apparently pleased
with the conversation.

Yinka Shonibare MBE opens 28 February 2009

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Twittering the Gallery

After a couple if months of researching Twitter on my own, listening mainly to others discuss and add links etc, I have finally taken the plunge and created and Auckland Art Gallery, Twitter account.

Definition of Twitter from Wikipedia:
Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

So if you are on Twitter (if you are not you should join it's a lot of fun) you can follow us here for updates, info and to chat to us. You will see an twitter widget on the right hand side of this blog for those of you who like everything in the same place.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

What are the books for?

I asked our photographer John McIver to pop over to the New Gallery and take some more photos of the installation of Yinka Shonibare MBE. When he returned with the image below I was totally confused and couldn't figure out what the books were for.

Then after flicking through the pages of what i can only describe as a 'luxurious' catalogue, I realised they are part of the work entitled The Age of Enlightenment - Adam Smith.
Here is an image of the work installed at a previous exhibition.

I think in my mind I imagined this as a 'fake' bookshelf. I am humbled to realise I was wrong. Maybe I have spent too much time in the 'virtual' world of the Internet and lost my faith in reality! Who knows what other surprises this exhibition will bring.

image credit (top to bottom)

Conservators and registrars carefully unpacking some of the objects for The Age of Enlightenment

Yinka Shonibare MBE The Age of Enlightenment - Adam Smith, 2008life-sized fibreglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton, mixed media
of the artist, James Cohan Gallery, New York and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London © the artist

Monday, 23 February 2009

Installation in progress - Yinka Shonibare MBE opens this weekend

Yinka Shonibare MBE opens at Auckland Art Gallery on Saturday 28 February. So, with less than a week to go the installation of the exhibition is in full swing.

Here are a couple of photos of the installation, which started this morning, of Black Gold II which is a HUGE work.

Auckland Art Gallery preparator Darren Sheehan and Nicky Bryant from the Museum of Contemporary Art, installing Black Gold II.

Black Gold II consists of black acrylic paint, and 25 dutch wax painted cotton canvases. Overall it is over 3 metres tall and over 6 metres wide. Hopefully if we can get over there tomorrow and take another photo to see how they are getting on.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Which river is it anyway?

I recently received this email:

You have a painting of a railway bridge over a river.
Accession No: 1983/23/7
Title: Te Aroha with the Piako River and
Railway Bridge

The painting does show the railway bridge at Te
Aroha (town and mountain to the east/left). The railway bridge shows the three
concrete piers andits swing span at the east/town end. The other piers are
But the river would be the Waihou River I think. The Piako River is
crossed at Morrinsville, well away from the range.

Here is the work:

I sent the email onto our registrars, who let me know that as the work is by an unknown artist the title comes from an inscription on the album that the print was in.

It's unclear whether it was the photographer or a later collector of the print who labelled it as the Piako River. However we will note the error in the title at the next opportunity on the website, but also keep a note of the inscription which is written beside the print.

Thanks to the sender of the email for letting us know this detail, we always appreciate some feedback.

20 Feb 09
update :

Trevor Cobeldick was the kind person who notified us of this error. He has also added that extra information regarding this unique bridge is available here:

Serial article.
The Te Aroha Railway Bridge, J A T Terry, p124-126
The New Zealand Railway Observer, n188, Summer 1986/87.

image credit currently:
Unknown, Te Aroha with the Pikao River and Railway Bridge, An album of photographs assembled by the Reverend Dr. John Kinder albumen on paper Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, purchased 1983

Monday, 9 February 2009

Art to get the week started

Checking the world of the web for other art blogs and websites etc i came across these which i thought were interesting:

John Ward Knox Works/projects
We Make Money Not Art

To continue my interest in art using digital media:

Something to get stuck into this week. Anyone have any others i should know about please let me know. So much out there and so little time.