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Exhibition at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

Don’t Ask Me What It Means I Might Tell You The Truth

Forthcoming Exhibition at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery:


3 March – 13 May 2007

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth is pleased to present the exhibition Tom Kreisler, the first major survey of this influential New Zealand artist’s work in almost two decades. Tom Kreisler opens 3 March and runs to 13 May 2007.

The exhibition presents a significant reconsideration of the work of Tom Kreisler (1938 – 2002) and his impact on fellow artists, writers and critical thinkers across New Zealand’s cultural communities.

Preoccupied by the big themes in life – love, death, danger and happiness – Kreisler also had a tremendous, often pointed, sense of humour that audiences are sure to appreciate.

Tom Kreisler will feature more than 40 large-scale paintings, altered readymades and works on found materials from both national and international collections. This exhibition will showcase a number of works for the first time.

These works, along with numerous drawings and notebooks, expose the complex layers of meaning in Kreisler’s work and pay particular attention to his meditations on the intricate connection between humour and tragedy.

Argentinean-born Kreisler lived and worked in New Zealand for most of his life, having been sent to this country to live with relatives at the age of 14. This geographical, cultural and psychological displacement developed in the artist a strongly independent vision evident for the next fifty years.

Kreisler’s first interest was not in art, but in language and he worked for a number of years as a copywriter, poetry editor and art reviewer. He started painting in the mid sixties where this interest in text quickly materialised, seen especially in his late paintings that toy with translation, the cliché and everyday slang.

The exhibition Tom Kreisler and the accompanying publication comma dot dogma have been curated and edited respectively by Tom’s youngest son, Aaron. Aaron Kreisler was recently awarded two Qantas Media Awards (Arts Review and Reviewer for 2006).

Through this exhibition, Aaron Kreisler is bringing the work of this seminal New Zealand artist to the wider audience that it deserves.

Also showing at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery until 25 March is Double harmonic: Len Lye & Tony Nicholls.

Both exhibitions will be open during WOMAD, 16 to 18 March 2007.


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