At the end of 2005, Gow Langsford Gallery extended an invitation to a group of artists to participate in Frieze, an exhibition inspired by Greco-Roman architectural friezes. The gallery gave each of the artists a blank canvas to paint. These were then installed in a continuous line around the perimeter of the gallery to create a horizontal frieze of paintings.
Along with Gow Langsford’s artists, some – including Billy Apple® – were represented by other galleries. At the eleventh hour Apple’s work was withdrawn at the request of his then Auckland dealer, Sue Crockford Gallery. Unhappy with these circumstances, Apple and the gallery replaced his canvas with a wall label which read, ‘Frieze art work by Billy Apple withdrawn at the request of Sue Crockford Gallery’.
Since the early 1980s, Apple has created works that have drawn attention to the network of relationships or recorded the types of transactions that take place between artists, dealers and collectors. They might be text-based records that outline the particulars of a deal; or highlight the art jargon used in galleries. In this case, Apple’s wall sign masquerades as a museum wall label, the kind usually employed when an art work is removed from display, but here it underscores the types of controls that dealers are able to exert over their stable of artists.
The wall label has become a place holder for the painting which has lain dormant in Apple’s studio for a decade. Gow Langsford has recalled the canvas for Apple’s solo exhibition, Withdrawn at the Request of Sue Crockford Gallery at their Kitchener St Gallery. The painting, Frieze (Red) will hang in it’s intended 2005 position.
Withdrawn at the Request of Sue Crockford Gallery is timed to coincide with his retrospective, Billy Apple®: The Artist Has To Live Like Everybody Else curated by Christina Barton for the Auckland Art Gallery, 14 March – 21 June 2015.
The exhibition is presented in association with Starkwhite.