Auckland Art Fair

2 – 5 May 2019

For the VIP preview and vernissage on Wednesday 1 May and following two days of the Fair (2 & 3 May) Starkwhite will present a solo exhibition by John Reynolds, further developing his ongoing Missing Hours project. Over the weekend we will move to a group show of works by selected artists represented by the gallery.

John Reynolds is one of New Zealand’s foremost artists. With a distinctive style that frequently interrogates the logics of drawing, mark making and language, his interdisciplinary practice spans painting, installation, sculpture, and site-specific public art works.

Missing Hours is a body of work taking on the real-life disappearance of Colin McCahon on the eve of the exhibition I WILL NEED WORDS, which was staged as a satellite show for the 1984 Biennale of Sydney. The project opened at Starkwhite with WalkWithMe in 2016 and was followed by FrenchBayDarkly in 2017, both exhibitions playing with titles of iconic McCahon paintings. John Reynolds’ practice has often referenced Colin McCahon, a towering figure of New Zealand art history, and inescapable for many painters. Yet this key incident in the McCahon mythology when the artist went missing in Sydney’s Botanical Gardens and was found five kilometres away the next morning, disoriented and confused, has offered Reynolds a rich vein of imagination and intrigue. Consumed by the incident for close to 5 years, Reynolds describes his ongoing investigation as “part missing person’s archive, part pilgrimage, part art historical vagabondage.”

Reynolds casts a disquieting and hallucinogenic web of imagery and association with the works in the series. The star of the WalkWithMe series is a large, multi-paneled work with smaller blue, green and dark purple panels flank a much wider black centre. It’s a cartography of possibility in which Reynolds charts schematic streetscapes, place names, local landmarks and motifs relating to or punning on Sydney suburbs and McCahon in silver oil paint marker. There’s a dizzying amount of references, words, motifs, and assorted fragments here, offering what the artist describes as ‘handrails’ for McCahon during his imagined journey. The effect is discombobulating, a visual scramble that’s somewhat familiar but also confusing, evoking the disorientation of McCahon’s lost hours. 

The FrenchBayDarkly series offers a nod to McCahon’s French Bay works via their bold colour and informal grid-like structure, but Reynolds has increased the pressure. Now the compositions offer a tightly interlocked grid and intensity that borders on computer matrixes of science fiction, the geometry sharpened into a technologically linear and graphic mapping of space. Recalling urban street maps, Reynolds seeks to understand possible routes and journeys for McCahon’s missing hours, speculating on his movement through this unfamiliar city.

Yet simple wayfinding analogies feel like just the top layer, for in a 2018 work titled Headmap Footage #1 Reynolds has quite literally placed the crisp white lines over a vivid pink and dusky purple cosmos. Perhaps the real action and meaning is happening here, for tracing the myriad of horizontals and verticals across the surface of the painting is maze-like. One of the most ancient geometric symbols and culturally massively resurgent, the maze is a test of risk and reason, a way to find yourself by getting lost. Said to reflect the subconscious mind, such structures offer a physical and symbolic journey to confusion and back out again into the world. Well known for an intense engagement with spiritual matters and constant attempt to understand his place in the world, McCahon’s nocturnal wanderings, the Missing Hours project seems to suggest, may be both darker and more spiritually illuminating than a simple disappearance.

John Reynolds is lost in the losing of Colin McCahon. If, as Australian writer Murray Bail considered, McCahon “reconceived Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud, as the land of the long black shadow”, Reynolds is excavating the shadow of McCahon’s disappearance. His interest is not in solving the incident, but in staying deep in the missing hours, exploring all their possibilities, avenues and dead ends; as might a traveller explore away from the tourist traps and smart suburbs. This is not an investigation into disappearance, but investigation into the ideas that getting lost allows. In ‘A Field Guide to Getting Lost’ Rebecca Solnit suggests that “Lost really has two disparate meanings. Losing things is about the familiar falling away, getting lost is about the unfamiliar appearing.” Leaving space for and inviting the unfamiliar is common practice for artists, and it is here that the Missing Hours project resides. 

Starkwhite often presents one or two-person exhibitions at art fairs, as we did with our Gordon Walters show at the 2018 edition of the Auckland Art Fair. However, with the interests of art buyers as well as collectors in mind, we also recognise the need to stage occasional group shows that present a slice of Starkwhite – presentations that also allow us to represent more of our artists at a fair. For the second half of the fair we will present a Starkwhite sampler with works by Billy Apple, Alicia Frankovich, Gavin Hipkins, Seung Yul Oh, Ani O’Neill, and Fiona Pardington.



The Auckland Art Fair 2021

24.02 - 28.02

The Armory Show 2010 | 1001 Nights
an installation by John Reynolds

Art LA Contemporary 2010

ShContemporary 2008 | Gavin Hipkins, Hye Rim Lee, Jae Hoon Lee and Grant Stevens

Sydney Contemporary Presents 2020

Sydney Contemporary 2018

Auckland Art Fair 2018

Auckland Art Fair Projects - Billy Apple®

Auckland Art Fair 2018 - Soap Box Symposium

Art Basel Hong Kong 2018

Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2018

Dialogues | London Art Fair 2018 | P18a

Sydney Contemporary 2017

Video Contemporary | Sydney Contemporary 2017

Art Basel Hong Kong Film 2017

VIRTUAL FAIR - Auckland Art Fair

Art Basel Hong Kong 2017

Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2017

Auckland Art Fair 2016

Auckland Art Fair | Projects Programme 2016

Art Basel Hong Kong 2016 | Encounters

Art Basel Hong Kong 2016


Sydney Contemporary 2015

Installation Contemporary Sydney Contemporary 2015

Art Basel Hong Kong 2015 | Michael Zavros

Art Basel Hong Kong 2020

Art Stage Singapore 2015 | Grant Stevens

Melbourne Art Fair 2014 | Michael Zavros

Art Basel Hong Kong 2014, Encounters | Rebecca Baumann

Art Basel Hong Kong 2014 | Gordon Walters

Auckland Art Fair 2013

Sydney Contemporary 2013

Sydney Contemporary | Video Contemporary 2013 Grant Stevens | Clinton Watkins

Sydney Contemporary | Installation Contemporary 2013

Art Basel Hong Kong 2013 | Billy Apple

The Armory Film March 2012 | Gavin Hipkins This Fine Island

Art Basel Hong Kong 2020 - Encounters

The Armory Show 2012 | Martin Basher

Melbourne Art Fair 2012

Art Hong Kong 2012 | Jin Jiangbo

Art Hong Kong 2011

Art Beijing 2010 | Whitney Bedford, Jin Jiangbo and John Reynolds

Art Hong Kong 2010

ART Hong Kong 2009 | John Reynolds

Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2020

Art Basel 39 | Art Unlimited 2008 | et al

Art Basel 39 2008 | Art Statements | Dane Mitchell: Conjuring Form

Performative Geographies

Sydney Contemporary 2019

Auckland Art Fair

Art Basel Hong Kong, 29 - 31 March 2019, Booth 1C03

Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2019