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Stephen Bambury

Ideogram (II)

Ideogram (II) by Stephen Bambury

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The immediate origins of this work lie in the artist's first Ideogram work, commissioned for a private home in 1994. Asked to create a work for the space between three wall-mounted stereo speakers, Bambury's solution was to borrow the words 'Hi-Fi' from the bottom edge of Colin McCahon's painting Angels and Bed. Bambury enlarged and squared up the words to form the interlocking graphic elegance of this composition. The first version was painted on aluminium panels; this version uses translucent sailcloth. Bambury looks back to European pioneers of modernist abstraction such as Mondrian and Malevich just as he has to McCahon. His art, however, is not frozen by this backward gaze - the melancholic sense of time past is overlaid by a utopian sense of meanings that survive, of history's pervasive afterlife. Bambury says of Ideogram (II): 'The work is emblematic of the moment I first profoundly felt modernism enter my life. It was as a kid in the mid-1960s, when the first swish stereo cabinet came into the house and we got a test record. Sitting in the lounge and hearing the train come through one wall and go out the other was a big moment. For me the transpersonal narrative of modernism and the story of my own personal engagement with it collapse into one in this work'. (from The Guide, 2001)

Ideogram (II)
Production date
resin and graphite on polyester and canvas
Size (h x w)
2925 x 1999 x 42 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Patrons of the Auckland Art Gallery, 1998
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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