Prospect: New Zealand Art Now at City Gallery

Prospect: New Zealand Art Now
City Gallery 26th November 2011 – 12th February 2012

I got to this on the very last day! Worst reviewer ever. The big gimmick here is that there’s no labels on anything so it prevents preconceptions, a concept which apparently they fought hard for. The only problem with this is that most people won’t have preconceptions unless they know the artists, in which case they’ll recognize their stuff anyway, and most of the stuff on display means little without explanation.

In practice, you walk around the galleries clutching a map which lists the artist’s zones, and a separate pamphlet (beautifully printed in Christchurch) which has details of each work. This is a very irritating way to make a point about labels.

I was going to write in detail about each artist, but the exhibition’s closed, and I was just reading the pamphlet again, and while I like the exhibition on the whole, the pamphlet is so pompous and takes itself so seriously that it’s put me off, frankly. Worst reviewer ever.

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