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Art or trash? You be the judge.

The controversial Home and Away exhibition of contemporary Australian and New Zealand art will be on display at Auckland City New Gallery until August 22.

The exhibition has drawn criticism and acclaim.

Home and Away is a major survey exhibition selected from the Chartwell Collection. It includes a wide range of works by forty eight of Australia and New Zealand's leading contemporary artists. Placed on loan to the Auckland Art Gallery in 1997, the Chartwell Collection comprises some six hundred works. Founded by the Chartwell Trust in 1974, it is now unmatched on either side of the Tasman.

The exhibition features important works by major artists such as Colin McCahon, Tony Tuckson, Rosalie Gascoigne, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Milan Mrkusich and Gordon Walters. In addition, the exhibition will reflect the Collection's continuing development and investment in the works of today's contemporary artists such as Louise Fong, Peter Robinson, Kathy Temin and Hany Armanious.

In selecting the exhibition, curator William McAloon has responded to a number of inter-related themes which he sees as having emerged in the Collection. The first of these examines how artists have responded to notions of place and to indigenous art forms, as well as the ways indigenous artists have in turn developed their work in response to non-indigenous methods. Artists such as Colin McCahon, Tony Tuckson, Gordon Walters, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Shane Cotton and Jacqueline Fraser are included here.

The second, including works by artists such as Stephen Bambury, Max Gimblett, Jeffrey Harris, Bill Henson and Luise Fong, looks at work motivated by expressionist or spiritual concerns, and the ways in which artists have interrogated these notions.

Lastly, the exhibition brings together works offering differing responses to abstraction with artists such as Milan Mrkusich, Don Driver, Kathy Temin and Mikala Dwyer.

Home and Away will be accompanied by a comprehensive full-colour catalogue. The 144 page catalogue includes an extended introductory essay by the curator as well short essays on each work in the exhibition commissioned from leading art commentators and writers in Australia and New Zealand. It has been co-published by David Bateman Ltd and the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.

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