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Leading contemporary art this summer

Leading contemporary art this summer

New Plymouth's Govett-Brewster Art Gallery launches a dynamic summer programme of groundbreaking exhibitions on 14 December.

"The four exhibitions present a comprehensive overview of the Gallery's programming policy and showcase the latest in New Zealand and international contemporary art," says Gallery Director Greg Burke.

The keynote exhibition is the Gallery's biennial summer review of contemporary New Zealand art Break. The exhibition presents a snapshot of recent work produced by New Zealand artists both here and overseas and is the first opportunity for New Zealand audiences to see much of this new work.

Break concentrates on the new: new artists, new works, new directions and new media. Senior artists premiere innovative new works alongside debuts by emerging names in New Zealand contemporary art. UK based Boyd Webb premiers his third film Horse and dog in New Zealand, while photographer Ann Shelton presents drawings. Julian Dashper exhibits his first video work while Korean artist Hye Rim Lee creates a video animation using cutting edge CGI programming. Recent graduate Ri Williamson debuts architectural installation work, a practice usually dominated by male artists, while established artist Richard Killeen presents a dramatic new take on his cut outs.

Break includes many more of the key names in New Zealand art: Dan Arps, Mladen Bizumic, Matt Ellwood, David Hatcher, Vanessa Jack, Douglas Rex Kelaher, Robin Kydd, Richard Lewer, Andrew McLeod, Victoria O'Sullivan, Patrick Pound, Yvonne Todd, Francis Upritchard, and Rohan Wealleans.

The Gallery introduces a European element with a major solo project by German artist Maix Mayer. Tuning 70: psychoscapes with psychonauts. Looks at the impact of architecture on our daily existence.

By transforming two Gallery spaces with elements of 1970s design, décor and popular culture Mayer draws our attention to how our environment affects our experience. A key component of the installation is Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho, which hints that Norman Bates' trauma is caused by the house in which he lives. The idea of building producing trauma is relevant to Mayer, who was born in East Germany, as 1970 represented the height of the Cold War brutalist concrete architecture.

Tuning 70: psychoscapes with psychonauts has been generously supported by the Goethe Institut Internationes, Wellington and Eigen + Art, Berlin.

The highly acclaimed Len Lye international touring exhibition, developed by the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery and Art Gallery of New South Wales, returns home for the summer.

This exhibition gathers three main elements of Lye's practice, films, photograms and sculptures and focuses on their relationship with light. While Lye's films and photograms have an obvious relationship with light, this exhibition represents the first time Lye's kinetic sculptures have been considered in this way. The exhibition proposes that the play of light on the sculpture, and its reflection and refraction throughout the Gallery is as important as the sound and motion.

Critical home video presents the third exhibition in the Gallery's ongoing projection series. Curated by British artist David Mabb, the programme features recent video works by 12 British artists.

In recent years video has become the medium of choice for British artists making cutting-edge work outside of the major spotlight. Critical Home Video follows this exciting new trend and presents an entertaining challenge to current taste - the disarmingly direct works pack a punch. Angus Wyatt's Welcome to the studio lampoons the notion of the artist superstar, a theme also raised by Don Bury's Don Bury Presents Saturday Night Fever and Mark Harris and Peter Lloyd Lewis's The Guitarist. Every work in the programme questions concepts of artistic authorship and performance, political commitment, and good taste with a healthy dose of irony.

The programme also includes work by KR Buxey, Volker Eichelmann & Ruth McLennan, Pil & Galia Kollectiv, Janet Hodgson, Yasu Ichige, David Mabb, Sheena Macrae, Johannes Maier, and Kate Smith.

Critical Home Video: new artists' video from the UK is presented in collaboration with Artspace, Peterborough, Ontario and has been supported by the British Council and the Trillium Foundation, Canada.

A special issue of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery's contemporary art magazine VISIT has been produced to mark the show, featuring new writing by national and international art figures. Get your free copy from the Gallery's Art and Design Shop.

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