Julian Dashper

Guy Ngan Mural, Bledisloe State Building, Auckland City 1987

Guy Ngan Mural, Bledisloe State Building, Auckland City 1987 by Julian Dashper

Artwork Detail

Guy Ngan was well known in the 1970s for his public murals on façades and in foyers of state-owned buildings. As a muralist whose work hovered between applied art and architectural decoration, Ngan was an intriguing figure from Julian Dashper's retro-stylist, late 1980s, perspective. Dashper was alert to those historical moments when the modern slipped into the moderne. Other works, such as Mural for a Contemporary House, Proposed Mural for the Koru Club and Design for a Mural at a Dental School, indicate his fascination with the mural as occupying a border territory between the art world and the public at large, between high art and the local community. Murals can embarrass the art community with their compromises and trivialising availability, and they can irritate the general citizenry who feel forced to look at public displays of modern art. Dashper's multi-part Guy Ngan Mural is a whimsical and ironic pastiche of processed, clichéd modernist abstraction at several removes from any generative urgency. The language of exuberant expressionism is rehearsed as cool rhetoric, notating the codes of modern stylistics. With playful gloops and balls of thick paint on velvet or canvas, Dashper puts authentic expressionism in quotation marks. This wily manipulation of abstraction's shifting historical status typified much post-modern practice in the 1980s and early 1990s. (from The Guide, 2001)

Guy Ngan Mural, Bledisloe State Building, Auckland City 1987
Julian Dashper
Production date
oil and acrylic on canvas, velvet and linen
2600 x 5000 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Patrons of the Auckland Art Gallery, 1996
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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