Monday 4 April
This media release originally issued on Friday 25 February 2022 was updated on Monday 4 April 2022 to reflect new dates for Gilbert & George: The Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland Exhibition and Suji Park: Meonji Soojibga | Dust Collector.
International artists, 14th to 19th-century religious icons and an exhibition celebrating the work of contemporary Pacific artists are some of what visitors can expect from Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki this year.
Auckland Art Gallery Director Kirsten Lacy is excited to share these new exhibitions, alongside the major international show Mary Quant: Fashion Revolutionary, which visitors have been enjoying since the start of summer.
‘Auckland Art Gallery has certainly delivered for summer with Mary Quant providing a much-needed injection of joy, playfulness and colour. The coming exhibition schedule builds on this, and we’re so excited to announce two international, ticketed exhibitions to start off 2022,’ says Gallery Director Kirsten Lacy.
‘Internationally renowned, celebrated and award-winning British artists Gilbert & George will be exhibiting their cheeky, often controversial, and always thought-provoking art, direct from their own personal collection to Aotearoa for the very first time.’
Developed exclusively with Gilbert & George by Auckland Art Gallery, The Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland Exhibition is scheduled to open in Autumn. It brings together existing and new work from the 21st century to look back over a joint career that has courted controversy, challenged the status quo and championed alternative views.
For Gilbert & George anything – and everything – is a potential subject matter for art. They have peered closely at the big questions of life: religion, sex, violence, hope, addiction and death. From their own bodies to their longtime home in London’s East End, nothing is too personal or too forbidden for these two artists whose work is a portrait of life today.
Opening in early April, Heavenly Beings: Icons of the Christian Orthodox World, offers a gateway to the profound tradition of devotional art from the Orthodox Christian world. Explore over 100 icons, painted with egg tempera and gold leaf on gesso over wood, with works spanning 500 years. Icons will include examples by some of the most famous workshops of the post-Byzantine world, including the Cretan masters, Nicholas Tzafouris, Angelos Aketantos, Constantine Tzanes, and Andrea Pavias.
‘Heavenly Beings: Icons of the Christian Orthodox World is a truly impressive survey with over 100 hauntingly beautiful icons, rarely seen in Aotearoa,’ adds Lacy.
‘Alongside these ticketed exhibitions, there’s so much to which to look forward, including An Arrangement for 5 Rooms by contemporary Korean New Zealand artist Yona Lee, featuring a major sculpture that breaks through the Gallery walls into Albert Park, and Declaration: A Pacific Feminist Agenda – a long-awaited look at the trajectory of feminism in contemporary Pacific art.’
Opening late February, Yona Lee: An Arrangement for 5 Rooms considers and renegotiates the relationship we share with space, objects and living. Conceived in the context of a global pandemic, with closed borders and a changing relationship to public and private spaces, Lee’s signature welded and refined stainlesssteel tube will weave through the Gallery.
Celebrating contemporary Pacific art, Declaration: A Pacific Feminist Agenda will feature works by artists from the region. Declaring a new set of principles that form a Pacific feminist agenda, Declaration acknowledges the existing ways in which indigenous and Pacific societies have always empowered women.