Art LA Contemporary 2010

Starkwhite will present a new work by John Reynolds (NZ), commissioned for the fair, along with paintings by Peter Stichbury (NZ) and video by Grant Stevens (AUS) at Art Los Angeles Contemporary from 28 – 31 January 2010.

John Reynolds: One Hand Read

‘It is good that the words which are least used, least written, and best kept silent, are the best known…’                                                                                                                           MONTAIGNE, Essays, lll, 5

Continuing a stream of recent projects, which reconfigure texts as content for formal dispersions, One Hand Read typically develops around a glossary of terms and expressions. In this case the text in question comes from an essay by French writer Philippe Brenot which the artist stumbled across last year in the theory section of the GOMA gallery bookshop in Brisbane. The book is titled ‘In Praise of Masturbation’, and translated from the French in 2005. This slim volume written by a psychiatrist and anthropologist at the University of Paris concludes with a breath-taking but by no means exhaustive inventory of synonyms and qualifiers gathered from more than a hundred books. From ‘ancient habit’, ‘bogus need’, and ‘bitter delight’, to ‘depraved play’, ‘fruitless work’, and ‘loathsome subject’, the glossary lists nearly eight hundred synonyms for what Sartre described as ‘the pure demonic act.’

The work will be in stalled as a sprawling visual compendium of over 700 hundred or so small [10 cm by 10 cm] paintings of these fraught and ambiguous terms. Typically each synonym will be drawn in reflective silver on one of several vaguely explicit colour tones.

Reynolds says: “This work will continue my explorations into the uses [and in this case, abuses,] of language and text, with particular concern for terminologies that sustain broader readings of contemporary culture, social mores, and the ardent and fugitive mechanics of communication.”

In addition to One Hand Read, Starkwhite will present works by painter Peter Stichbury and video artist Grant Stevens. Stichbury’s perfect painted portraits and Stevens’ autobiographical video portraits swerve between surface pleasures and deeper neuroses that lurk beneath the surface. They also chime with Reynolds’ work: all three artists explore the way we read and interpret much of mainstream culture – Reynolds with his explorations into the uses [and in this case, abuses,] of language and text, and the ardent and fugitive mechanics of communication: Stevens with his exploration of the languages of popular culture through his text, image and sound videos; and Stichbury with his stylish, portraits examining the nature of social desirability, played out via social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace

John Reynolds’ solo shows and representation in recent events and group exhibitions include: Table of Dynasties, ART HK, the international art fair of Hong Kong (2009); Dorothy Napangardi / John Reynolds, curated by Robert Leonard, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2009); Walters Prize Exhibition, Auckland Art Gallery (2008); John Reynolds: Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, a collaboration between the artist and actor/director Geraldine Brophy, Christchurch Art Gallery (2008); Speaking Truth to Power, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland University (2007); Zones of Conflict, 15th Biennale of Sydney (his work Cloud was commissioned for the entrance hall of the Art Gallery of New South Wales), curated by Charles Merewether (2006); 54321: Auckland Artists Projects, curated by Ngahiraka Mason, Auckland Art Gallery (2006); Nine Lives: The Chartwell Collection, curated by Robert Leonard, Auckland Art Gallery (2003); HEVN: NOT TO SCALE, curated by Sophie McIntyre, Adam Gallery Victoria University, Wellington (2002): and From K Road to Kingdom Come, curated by Gregory Burke and Robert Leonard, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (2001).

Peter Stichbury’s work has been exhibited in solo and thematic exhibitions including: The Alumni—Peter Stichbury, Te Tuhi Centre For The Arts, Auckland and the Dunedin Pubic Art Gallery (2008); Less Than Absolute Zero, Starkwhite (2007) Toi Te Papa Art of the Nation, The National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (to September 2009); Passport to Magonia, Starkwhite (2006); Small World, Big Town: Contemporary Art From Te Papa, City Gallery, Wellington (2005); Sticky, Randolph Street Gallery, Whitecliffe School of Art, Auckland, (2004); Piggy in the mirror, Starkwhite (2004); Addicted to love, Starkwhite (2003); Portraiture: the art of social commentary, Te Tuhi/The Mark Gallery, Auckland (2003); and Measure of strangeness, Artspace, Auckland (2002). Stichbury was also the winner of the James Wallace Art Award in 1997.

Grant Stevens’ recent exhibitions include: Wobbly, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney (2009); Islands, Nature Morte, Berlin (2009); No Bad Days, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2008); Education, Education, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney (2007); Cliché and Collusion: Video Works by Grant Stevens, Museum of Art, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah ((2007); Going Steady, Starkwhite, Auckland (2007); and The Switch, Il Ponte Contemporanea, Rome (2007). He has also been represented in group shows including: Word, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney (2009)Some Text Missing, CAST, Hobart (2009); The Leisure Class, the Australian Cinematheque, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (2007); Anne Landa Award, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2006); and 2004: Australian Culture Now, National Gallery of Victoria (2004).

Located in New Zealand on Auckland’s Karangahape Road, Starkwhite presents a programme of artists’ projects, solo shows, independently curated exhibitions and occasional forays into new music and other interdisciplinary practices. Starkwhite also represents artists from New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific rim.

For further information on the project, or images, please contact the gallery.



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