Exhibitions

Marti Friedlander | Starting Point for a Complicated Story

12.07 - 19.08

Starkwhite is delighted to present our first exhibition of Marti Friedlander’s work in partnership with the Marti Friedlander Estate. 

Marti Friedlander (1928-2016) had an almost sixty year career in New Zealand. She arrived from England in early 1958 and was taking photographs until shortly before her death. From the early 1960s on she became one of the best-known and most celebrated photographers here; her work reproduced in periodicals and books and exhibited ever more widely, especially after the Auckland Art Gallery-organised retrospective in 2001, which toured the country.

Most of the photographs in this exhibition are original prints from the 1960s and 1970s, with many of them included in her Larks in a Paradise (1974, with texts by James McNeish). Except for two, a New York street scene and the self-portrait made in Paris, they are all New Zealand subjects. And those subjects are diverse – city, suburban, small town, rural and one ‘wilderness’ (Milford Sound), various kinds of protests and demonstrations, work and ceremonies, as well as their equally diverse human inhabitants and participants. Larks in a Paradise was subtitled New Zealand Portraits, and while it did include literal portraits of individuals, it was more portraits of aspects of New Zealand society and manners of living and being here, as perceived by a still relatively recent immigrant from the other side of the world and a very different cultural background from the vast majority of subjects – sharp-eyed, exploratory views of the places and people she found herself in and among by an outsider aiming to come inside. Creative outsiders can often see a society and its people in ways insiders cannot or don’t want to. In short they open eyes to what had not been represented before, or what had only been half seen. That was, and is, so with Marti Friedlander’s pictures, not all of which make comfortable viewing. For instance, consider Pub, South Island (1967): a solitary man, locked into himself, his fist clenched, separate from others; an image of an almost explosive, not-so-latent tension, ‘captured’ by a woman photographer, at a time when women rarely entered public bars. Or, how can we see Mt Eden (woman with glasses) from 1969, a bland title for a Diane Arbus-like vision of  things, askew from the surfaces of otherwise polite, suburban appearances. There is also wit, warmth and empathy in Friedlander’s imaging of experiences, as in the two Catholic Brothers in their vineyard, the sheep shearers, and the Turangawaewae Marae Jubilee (1971). Marti Friedlander’s photographs work through suggestion, rather than by preaching or declaiming, especially when the subjects touch on the complexities of New Zealand history, as with Ruapekapeka and its foreground cannon and cows, beyond which are open land and a lowering sky – pastoral riches on the site of  what Governor George Grey declared a decisive battle, though in fact inconclusive, between Maori led by Kawiti (Ngapuhi) and British troops in January 1846. Nearly 120 years later Marti Friedlander pictured the then Governor-General Sir Bernard Fergusson at Waitangi. In full ceremonial regalia, he might immediately seem, with his extraordinary moustache, monocle and antique quasi-nineteenth century military garb, a self-parody of imperial delusion, though in fact Fergusson was well-known for his sociability with everyone, his deep concerns about Maori-Pakeha relations and his promotion of the need to revitalise te reo Maori and include Maori properly and fairly in public and civic life.

Appearances may be deceptive, and Marti Friedlander’s photographs often probe beyond surfaces and visualise social and psychological conditions, ambivalences and ambiguities, which might be difficult to articulate otherwise. You need to look closely not just what she photographed, but also, and crucially, at how she pictured her subjects. Each photograph in this exhibition could be the starting point of a complicated story – as the best photographs are.

Leonard Bell, 6 July 2024.

References: his Marti Friedlander (2009) and Marti Friedlander: Portraits of the Artists (2020), both published by Auckland University Press.

Marti Friedlander | Starting Point for a Complicated Story | STARKWHITE
Exhibitions

Current

Past

John Reynolds | Some Greater Plan (for Claire)

04.06 - 06.07

Fiona Pardington | Te taha o te rangi

16.04 - 25.05

Gordon Walters | History

09.02 - 31.03

Whitney Bedford, Bill Henson, Ani O'Neill, Jonny Niesche, and Fiona Pardington | Sampler 2024

09.02 - 31.03

Jamie Te Heuheu | Quiet Thoughts and Quiet Dreams

23.11.23 - 13.01.24

Bill Henson | The Liquid Night

23.11.23 - 31.01.24

Bonco | Star Stare Start

20.10.23 - 19.11.23

Clinton Watkins | Depth of Field

20.10.23 - 19.11.23

Gordon Walters by Francis Pound | Book Launch

14.09.23

Curated by Jonny Niesche | Ümwelt

01.09.23 - 07.10.23

Richard Maloy | Raw

27.07.23 - 27.08.23

Petra Cortright | micro lemon diamond realm

07.07.23 - 26.08.23

Jonny Niesche | You say sfumato, I say sfumato

12.05.23 - 27.06.23

Billy Apple® | Divine Proportion

23.02.23 - 08.04.23

Gerold Miller, Gordon Walters | Miller meets Walters

08.12.23 - 31.01.23

FuckCancer_DontDelayFun | Blind Auction

27.10.22 - 05.11.22

John Reynolds | APOCALYPSEoCLOCK

21.10.22 - 01.12.22

Whitney Bedford | Imaginary

30.08.22 - 15.10.22

Seung Yul Oh | Huggong-Monologue

09.07.22 - 20.08.22

Gerold Miller

01.06.22 - 02.07.22

Bill Henson | Selected Works

30.04.22 - 29.05.22

Layla Rudneva-Mckay | I Roll

15.02.22 - 19.03.22

Fiona Pardington | Tarota

16.11.21 – 18.12.21

Fiona Pardington | Tarota Preview

05.10.21 – 07.10.21

Jan van der Ploeg | The Other Window

17.08.21 – 12.10.21

Laith McGregor | Second Wind

03.07.21 – 07.08.21

Richard Maloy | Maternal Routine

03.06.21 - 19.06.21

Bill Henson | 1985-2021

21.05.21 - 19.06.21

Martin Basher | Birds of Paradise

13.04.21 - 14.05.21

Will Cooke | Every Wall Is A Door

15.01.21 - 13.02.21

Jonny Niesche | Poikilos

17.11.20 - 22.12.20

Gemma Smith | Thin Air

06.10.20 - 07.11.20

Whitney Bedford, Petra Cortright, Kirsten Everberg, Judy Ledgerwood | Slippery Painting

01.09.20 - 03.10.20

Jin Jiangbo, John Reynolds | Performative Geographies

14.07.20 - 15.08.20

Group Show | Sampler 2020

14.05.20 - 06.06.20

Gordon Walters | From the Archive

05.02.20 - 07.03.20

Richard Maloy | Studio: Space & Time

28.01.20 - 01.02.20

Rebecca Baumann | New Work

27.11.19 - 21.12.19

The Estate of L. Budd et al. | the artists in conversation

22.10.19 - 16.11.19

John Reynolds | The Art of Wine

14.10.19

Billy Apple® and Tāme Iti | Flagged

08.10.19 - 12.10.19

Clinton Watkins | binary

19.09.19 - 03.11.19

Yuk King Tan | Crisis of the Ordinary

21.08.19 - 14.09.19

Group Show | Sampler 2019

23.07.19 - 15.08.19

Fiona Pardington | TIKI: Orphans of Māoriland

12.06.19 - 11.07.19

Laith McGregor | AM/PM/AM

09.05.19 - 08.06.19

BILLY APPLE® is N=One

11.04.19 - 05.05.19

Ani O'Neill | Classic Hits

14.03.19 - 10.04.19

Alicia Frankovich | Microchimerism

08.02.19 - 06.03.19

Martin Basher | One Week Stand

24.01.19 - 02.02.19

The Estate of L.Budd_et al.

11.12.18 - 22.12.18, 02.01.19 - 12.01.19

Gavin Hipkins | Block Units

14.11.18 - 08.12.18

John Stezaker | Collages

09.10.18 - 03.11.18

Grant Stevens | The Mountain and the Waterfalls

01.09.18 - 29.09.18

Whitney Bedford | Bohemia

31.07.18 - 24.08.18

Seung Yul Oh | Horizontal Loop

26.06.18 - 28.07.18

Gordon Walters | From the Walters Estate

29.05.18 - 16.06.18

Group Show | Sampler 2018

17.04.18 - 26.05.18

Alicia Frankovich, Ani O’Neill, The Estate of L Budd, et al. | 125

13.03.18 - 07.04.18

Len Lye | Love Springs Eternal

07.02.18 - 07.03.18

Richard Maloy | Things I have Seen

22.12.17

Michael Zavros | The Silver Fox

17.11.17 - 16.12.17

John Reynolds | RocksInTheSky...

17.11.17 - 24.12.17

Martin Basher | Devil at the Gates of Heaven

10.10.17 - 04.11.17

Daniel von Sturmer | Luminous Figures

02.09.17 - 30.09.17

Martin Basher | Hawaiian Tropic

01.08.17 - 26.08.17

Fiona Pardington | Nabokov's Blues: The Charmed Circle

23.06.17 - 23.07.17

John Reynolds | FrenchBayDarkly…

17.05.17 - 17.06.17

Group Show | On the Grounds

02.03.17 - 08.04.17

Billy Apple® | Art Transactions

08.02.17 - 04.03.17

Gavin Hipkins, Jin Jiangbo, Danie Mellor | Beyond Landscape

17.11.16 - 17.12.16

Laith McGregor | Swallow the Sun

01.10.16 - 12.11.16

Matt Henry | Analogues

19.09.16 - 14.10.16

John Reynolds | WalkWithMe...

30.08.16 - 24.09.16

Daniel Crooks | Vanishing Point

03.08.16 - 27.18.16

Gavin Hipkins, Richard Maloy, Daniel von Sturmer | Material Candour

05.07.16 - 22.07.16

Layla Rudneva-Mackay | Running Towards Water

07.06.16 - 08.07.16

Fiona Pardington | 100% Unicorn

24.05.16 - 25.06.16

Clinton Watkins | lowercase

19.04.16 - 18.05.16

Whitney Bedford 2016 | Lost and Found

15.03.16 - 14.04.16

Fiona Clark | For Pink Pussycat Club as part of THE BILL

20.02.16 - 22.04.16

Alicia Frankovich | The Female has Undergone Several Manifestations

06.02.16 - 05.03.16

Fiona Pardington | The Popular Recreator

11.12.15 - 23.12.15

Gavin Hipkins | Block Paintings

04.11.15 - 05.12.15

Gordon Walters | Gouaches and a Painting from the 1950s

21.09.15 - 24.10.15

Fiona Pardington | Childish Things

12.08.15 - 19.09.15

Rebecca Baumann, Brendan Van Hek, Alicia Frankovich, Len Lye, László Moholy-Nagy and Grant Stevens | In Motion

10.07.15 - 08.08.15

Grant Stevens | Hold Together, Fall Apart

07.07.15 - 02.08.15

Laith McGregor | Somewhere Anywhere

02.06.15 - 04.07.15

Arnold Manaaki Wilson, Billy Apple® | TOTEM | curated by Mary Morrison

01.05.15 - 30.05.15

Martin Basher | Jizzy Velvet

03.02.15 - 14.03.15

John Reynolds | BLUTOPIA

19.12.14

Seung Yul Oh | memmem

31.10.14 - 06.12.14

Gavin Hipkins | Erewhon

31.10.14 - 29.11.14

Rebecca Baumann | Once More With Feeling

19.09.14 - 18.10.14

Michael Zavros | Bad Dad

02.06.14 - 28.06.14

THE ANALYSIS OF BILLY APPLE®

05.05.14 - 10.05.14

Jin Jiangbo, Stella Brennan, Billy Apple, Trenton Garratt, Seung Yul Oh, John Reynolds, Layla Rudneva-Mackay, Jim Speers, Yuk King Tan and Wang Dawei | SIGNALS

08.08.14 - 13.09.14

Layla Rudneva-Mackay | Blue Squares, Purple Pairs

17.03.14 - 12.04.14

Curated by Martin Basher | Lovers

06.02.14 - 06.03.14

Glen Hayward | I don't want you to worry about me

06.12.13 - 31.01.14

Matt Henry | High Fidelity

16.11.13 - 14.12.13

Li Xiaofei | Assembly Line - Entrance

03.10.13 - 26.10.13

Richard Maloy | All the things I did

04.09.13 - 30.09.13

John Reynolds | Vagabondage

22.08.13 - 21.09.13

Clinton Watkins | Frequency Colour

25.07.13 - 16.08.13

Curated by Robert Leonard | BAZINGA!

11.05.13 - 08.06.13

Whitney Bedford | This for That

09.04.13 - 04.05.13

Jin Jiangbo | Rules of Nature

08.03.13 - 04.04.13

Martin Basher | Solo Exhibition

05.02.2013 - 02.03.13

Ross Manning | Field Emissions

29.11.12 - 22.12.12, 15.01.13 - 22.01.13

Seung Yul Oh | HUGGONG

23.10.12 - 17.11.12

Jae Hoon Lee | Antarctic Fever

18.09.12 - 13.10.12

Curated by Brian Butler | Greetings from Los Angeles: Eight Artists

10.07.12 - 06.08.12