Starkwhite is pleased to launch its 2013 programme
with a solo exhibition by Martin Basher, which runs from 5 February
to 2 March.
In this exhibition, Basher continues his longstanding
investigation into the ways which representations of the utopic and
the sublime function in contemporary consumer society. Focusing on
the use of imagery in commercial display, Basher's work explores
the power of the image to evoke desire, seduce a viewer, and to
stimulate 'consumer' response.
Basher uses a diverse range of source material including sunset
beach-posters, exercise equipment, cut glass and crystal, liquor,
vitamins and lottery tickets. In this exhibition, Basher draws on
the color and form of these sources, approaching them from a
primarily abstract standpoint.
Integral to the show are a new series of vivid, hard-edged
abstract paintings in purple, black and white. The color of these
works derives from the highly photoshopped saccharine beach imagery
commonly used to sell romantic package holidays, alcoholic spirits
and the like, while the work's abstract form bears a relationship
to the fluorescent lighting, vertically-hung window blinds, and the
angularity of storefront window display architecture. The paintings
are the latest and largest of an ongoing series, the flawless
atmosphere of sunset and vertical stripe motifs long being a
presence in Basher's work.
The exhibition will also feature sculptural works made with
fluorescent lights and architectural aluminum window trim. Arranged
in vertical series like the stripes of the paintings, the lamps
will cast the show in a high-spectrum artificial luminescence that
is at once confrontational and blindingly seductive. Their
industrial materials give reference to the modernist canon, while
the scale and shape of the work gives nods to shop fittings.
In both paintings and sculptural works, the light and tenor of
retail commerce is concentrated and focused to a destabilizing
degree. These elegant paintings and objects may be interpreted
through a critical lens concurrently as utilitarian display
objects, and refined, meditative artworks.
New Zealand-born Basher divides his time between New York and
Auckland, New Zealand. He received his BA
in Fine Art (2003) and MFA (2008) from Columbia University in New
Recent exhibitions/projects include: Toi Aotearoa,
Auckland Art Gallery, curated by Natasha Conland (2012/2013);
Handling & Packing (solo show), Saatchi & Saatchi
NY (2012); Strangers in a strange land, LMAK Projects, New
York (2012); The Armory Show (solo presentation), New York (2012);
MINIMAL CONSUMPTION / REFLECTIVE SUBLIME / ASPIRATIONAL
SUNSET ART, MetroTech Plaza, Brooklyn, commissioned by
the New York Public Art Fund (2011); Chinese
Takeout, Art in General, NY (2011); Collected,
Cuchifritos, NY, curated by Felicity Hogan (2010); Unspecified
Objects, Thierry Goldberry Projects, NY (2010); Dancing
Feet, 179 Canal, NY, curated by Colby Bird and Tova Carlin
(2010); STATES OF PEACE AND CALM W. PERSONAL TOUCH + EASY
ORDERING (solo show), Starkwhite, Auckland (2010); Heavier
Than A Death In The Family, 25CPW, NY, curated by Per Bilgren
and Shannon Smith (2009); Two Degrees of Separation,
Gallery Satori, NY, curated by Eun Young Choi (2009);
Autumn, Neiman Gallery, Columbia University
(2010); Reality Sandwiches, Artnews projects, Berlin,
curated by Margherita Belaief (2009); and Free Spirit No
Interest (solo show), Starkwhite, Auckland (2009).
Curatorial projects include: Dance Sons and Daughters Dance!
An exhibition of emergent American positions in video art,
Physics Room Christchurch, NZ (2009); and The Leisure Suite:
Images of Domestic Malaise and Redemption, Leroy Neiman
Gallery, Columbia University, NY (2008).
Please contact the gallery for further information and
510 Karangahape Road, Auckland, New Zealand
Tel. +64 9 3070703
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