Every two years Melbourne plays host to the largest showcase of contemporary art in the Southern Hemisphere. The sixth Australian Contemporary Art Fair will be held at the historic Royal Exhibition Building from 1 - 4 October, 1998.
ACAF is one of the major international arts events in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, attracting significant interest from collectors, dealers and artists. Over 16,000 people attended ACAF5 in 1996.
Over 60 galleries will be included. Gow Langsford Gallery will be participating at ACAF6 for the fourth time - the only New Zealand Gallery to consistently take part in such international exposure. This has included previous art fairs - in 1996, Art Cologne, Germany and NICAF, Yokohama, Japan in 1992. Gow Langsford Gallery has a strong commitment to New Zealand art, and as such sees this as a valuable opportunity to promote our local artists internationally.
Unlike previous years the Gow Langsford Gallery stand will have a predominantly New Zealand / Pacific focus and will feature the following artists:
Shane Cotton is a young upcoming figurative painter who has had several major exhibitions in New Zealand and Australia. Much of his work aims to represent the shared experiences of Maori and Pakeha within this country, often using a series of numbers and symbols which highlight significant events and places in New Zealand history. Examples of his works are held in major public collections including Auckland Art Gallery, Te Papa, Museum of New Zealand in Wellington, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.
Dick Frizzell graduated from the Ilam School of Fine Art at Canterbury University in 1964. Initially trained as a graphic artist and working in advertising, Frizzell received an Arts Council Grant in 1979 which he used to further extend his artistic talents. He has exhibited in two or three solo shows a year since the mid 80’s as well as in numerous group shows. His output is as prolific as it is varied, ranging from book illustration, collage and landscape painting, to revising the work of early modernists such as Picasso and Miro. He has recently had a major retrospective exhibition touring New Zealand’s public galleries. Dick Frizzell is one of New Zealand’s most popular and widely collected artists.
The works exhibited at ACAF6 will be a continuation of a series based on the Maori “Tiki” motif that Frizzell first exhibited in 1992. The exhibition at this time was one of the most controversial shows of the decade, the repercussions of which are ongoing. Recently the Waikato Art Museum refused to exhibit Frizzell’s major touring retrospective at the request of Tainui Kaumatua because of concerns that it would be insensitive to display his work alongside tribal treasures.
Paul Dibble is a sculptor whose primarily figurative works are cast in bronze. His choice of subject matter and titles are New Zealand and Pacific oriented. His work has been included in many solo and group exhibitions since 1971 and has received a number of art grants and commissions both private and public. These have included the making of a large scale piece for the Manawatu Art Gallery in Palmerston North, the Robert McDougall Gallery in Christchurch and the Wellington City Gallery.
Born in Liku, Niue in 1962, John Pule now resides in Auckland, where he works as a poet, artist, author, and tutor. Working predominantly in oils, he also creates prolific woodcuts and lithographs. His work combines elements of Christian iconography with remnants of colonialism, Niuean myth and cartography. Pule’s 1998 exhibition at Gow Langsford Gallery, saw a series of large works reminiscent of traditional Tapa cloths. Pule in fact uses the western medium of applying oil to canvas, smudging it while still wet to simulate bark cloth. Pule sees his work as offering an explanation to his situation as a displaced Polynesian, a private perception but one that can be applied to many immigrants of different cultures.
Colin McCahon died in 1987, but is still undoubtedly the most internationally successful and recognised artist of New Zealand’s recent history. His influence has touched a whole generation of New Zealander’s, and continues to excite debate and controversy amongst art critics. Regardless of his choice of subject matter - visionary landscapes, religious scenes or word and number paintings - his approach in attitude is primarily religious. His works are a constant exploration of the imaginative “Promised Land” and all that that entailed for New Zealander’s. The power and strength of McCahon’s paintings comes not only from his strong debt to international modernism, but because they are so clearly connected to the country in which he lives.