Sydney Contemporary 2015

10 – 13 September 2015

Mirroring Sydney Contemporary’s positioning as an emergent international art fair, Starkwhite will take a more international approach this year, presenting work by artists based in China, Germany, Korea and the United States as well as New Zealand and Australia. And the gallery will present more work than usual in a booth partitioned into two spaces.

The larger space will be dedicated to a group show of work by artists such as Billy Apple® (NZ/US), Martin Basher (NZ/US), Rebecca Baumann (AUS), Whitney Bedford (US), Alicia Frankovich (DE), Jin Jiangbo (CN), Seung Yul Oh (NZ/KR), Fiona Pardington (NZ), Grant Stevens (AUS), Gordon Walters (NZ) and Michael Zavros (AUS). The smaller space will be more akin to a stockroom with a floor-to-ceiling hang of works by artists in the group show and other artists represented by Starkwhite. 

Starkwhite will also present an artist’s project by Laith McGregor (AUS) in Installation Contemporary which has been curated by Ivan Muniz Reed, Glenn Barkley and Holly Williams for this year’s edition of the fair.

High points of the presentation at Sydney Contemporary include:

BRAND NEW by Billy Apple®, the artist who became a registered trademark in 2007, formalising his art brand status. Apple’s six-decade art career began in London amidst the pioneers of pop art but he moved to New York in 1964 where he exhibited in the legendary American Supermarket exhibition (which included Jasper Johns, Claus Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselman) and then rapidly established himself as a key figure in the development of conceptual art. His survey exhibition Billy Apple®: The Artist Has to Live Like Everybody Else was presented at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki earlier this year and in 2013 Starkwhite presented the art/science project The Immortalisation of Billy Apple® (by Dr Craig Hilton & Billy Apple) at Art Basel Hong Kong.

Paintings by Martin Basher featuring his flawless oil-painted gradated stripes, this time including photo-real renderings of legs and liquor glasses linking the paintings to his display-based sculptural practice that taps into consumer culture, sublimated desire and the masculine gaze. Starkwhite presented a solo exhibition by Martin Basher at The Armory Show, New York, in 2012.

A new automated colour field by Rebecca Baumann consisting of a single split-panel flip clock, with the number cards replaced with cards of solid colour. Like changing numbers on a clock, the cards flip on the minute (on the right hand side) and on the hour (on the left hand side) – revealing the colour combinations offered by the palette employed in the work. Previous Starkwhite presentations of Baumann’swork include a commissioned, automated colour field work for the Encounters section of Art Basel Hong Kong 2013, curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.

A new Whitney Bedford shipwreck painting. The artist’s paintings have a compositional turbulence and a distinctly ominous air – their listing ships, heavy seas, detached icebergs, temperamental horizons stirring up notions of the sublime. Drafted in ink and lost in the over painting Bedford’s paintings become their own act, something foreboding or redeeming or cathartic; less about trials and tribulations, they ultimately become their own votives. Starkwhite has presented Bedford’s work in groups shows at ART HK, Art Beijing, Art Los Angeles Contemporary and Sydney Contemporary.

Alicia Frankovich‘s The Female Has Undergone Several Manifestations (2015), a shimmering sheer black-gradating-to-blue-to-red curtain undulating gently in the breeze of a stainless steel fan placed close to the chromatically matching photograph Becoming Public: Actor (2015), which protrudes 40° from the wall on one side. Frankovich was one of the finalists for the 2013 Anne Landa Award for video and new media arts and featured in the Award exhibition The Space Between Us at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Photographs by Gavin Hipkins, including one from his Empire suite, a body of work that takes as its starting point line illustrations from children’s Empire and Commonwealth annuals dating from the 1950s. These images were used to illustrate stories of adventure and historical drama in accord with the formation and ideological sustainability of the British Empire and Commonwealth, including New Zealand and Australia. Hipkins’ film This Fine Island was selected for the inaugural edition of Armory Film at the 2012 edition of The Armory Show.

Photographs from Jin Jiangbo‘s ongoing landscape project which he describes as “a form of dialogue with nature”. The artist reworks New Zealand landscape through his own heritage and China’s shanshui tradition, not with ink on paper, but through the lens of a camera, giving it a new cultural inflection. Starkwhite presented a solo exhibition by Jin Jiangbo at Hong Kong’s international art fair ART HK in 2012.

A three-dimensional line drawing in space by Seung Yul Oh, using LED lighting encased in tubular plexiglass, that creates architectural space within the booth space – space that forms and reforms as viewers experience the sculpture from various vantage points. Oh featured in Installation Contemporary in the inaugural edition of Sydney Contemporary and in 2013 his Seoul gallery ONE AND J Gallery presented an Oh installation of interactive inflatables in the Encounters section of Art Basel Hong Kong curated by Yuko Hasegawa. His exhibition HaaPoom is currently showing in Auckland at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery.

A suite of blob head sculptures by Laith McGregor that writer Jack Willet says “evoke tales of fiction and non fiction; ruins of the past recovered in the present, appearing as forgotten totems of a lost civilisation of uncanny make-believe. They resemble amorphous forms that have taken on their own shape after years of erosion, brought out in nostalgia and infused with a semblance of something recognisably contemporary.” Starkwhite will also present an installation by McGregor in Installation Contemporary, the curated section of Sydney Contemporary.

Fiona Pardington’s Davis Kea Wings (Below), an heraldic image of native bird wings. Byconcentrating on the wings, she forges an aesthetically pleasing symmetry that allows the viewer to focus on the marvels of nature’s aerodynamic engineering with just a hint of fallen angel. We will also present some of Pardington’s meticulously composed still life studies, which use found objects that are richly layered with their own history, such as rediscovered family heirlooms, taxidermied animals, native botanical items or even rubbish sourced from her local beaches. Life, death, longing and loss are all explored in her photographs.” Pardington’s survey show A Beautiful Hesitation opened at the City Gallery Wellington on 22 August and runs to 22 November 2015.

A new multi-panel, lenticular work by Grant Stevens where each panel changes colour when viewed from different angles or when the viewer moves past. It is only through continual movement, and the subsequent transitioning of visible colours that the viewer registers the complete spectrum of colours in the work. The work actively engages with our peripheral vision and the transitory nature of perception. It plays with the fundamental pleasures of colour and vision, and the uneasy seduction of being unable to grasp multiple phenomena simultaneously. Starkwhite has presented Stevens videos works at several fairs including SHContemporary (Shanghai) Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Art Stage Singapore, Melbourne Art Fair and the first edition of Sydney Contemporary Video Contemporary curated by Mark Feary. 

Paintings by New Zealand’s pioneer abstract artist Gordon Walters who is best known for his use ofthe koru, the curving bulb from Maori moko and kowhaiwhai rafter patterns. The selection will include early koru paintings (works on paper) and screenprints, along with paintings from his later geometric series. Starkwhite presented a small survey show of Walters Koru paintings at Art Basel Hong Kong in 2014 and in mid-September we will present Gordon Walters: Gouaches and a Painting from the 50s curated by Laurence Simmons.

New paintings by Michael Zavros, an aesthete who paints beautiful things beautifully. His subjects include fairytale palaces,gardens and follies; up-market men’s fashion, luxury cars and jewellery; Lipizzaner dressage horses and Japanese pedigree onagadori chickens – and his daughter and muse Phoebe who is the subject of White Fox. We will also show a large still life painting titled Brontosaurus. This is Zavros’ third consecutive art fair presentation with Starkwhite, the others being Art Basel Hong Kong 2015 (solo show) and the Melbourne Art Fair 2014 (solo show)

Located in New Zealand on Auckland’s Karangahape Road, Starkwhite presents a programme of artists’ projects, solo shows by represented and invited artists, and independently curated exhibitions.

Please contact the gallery for further information and images.



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