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Tame Iti in Webb’s art and design auction

Media release – May 8, 2008

Tame Iti featuring in Webb’s major contemporary art and modern design auction next week

A collaborative work featuring Maori activist Tame Iti goes on sale at Webb's auction in Auckland next week.

Iti features in a political CD release of songs produced to accompany Dr Tutu, a work on four canvasses, mounted with fence post construction, by contemporary artists Mike Weston and Otis Frizzell.

The opening song Whenua, raises the topic of New Zealand land rights among sounds of native birds, Maori flute and conch. Another tack, Aotearoa Not for Sale is a postulation of Captain James Cook as a recently arrived alien looking to invest in New Zealand real estate.

When Colin McCahon's Urewera Mural, a painting valued at over a million dollars, was liberated from a Department of Conservation office, Iti was instrumental in its return.

Iti was one of many people under investigation over alleged links to military-style training camps in the Bay of Plenty last year. The CD and art work was released on 14 April, 2005.
The CD closes with a track questioning the government’s roles in atrocities committed against indigenous people.
Earlier this year at Gallery Salmonroot in Auckland, Iti the painter held an exhibition, of original paintings entitled Meet the Prick, which was opened by National MP Gerry Brownlee.
The design feature will be a chair a prototype for Marc Newson’s ‘Wood’ chair which could fetch $30,000. Two years ago a buyer paid $US968,000 for Newson’s Lockheed Lounge which was a world auction record for a living designer.

Australian Newson is at the forefront of a new generation of designers shaping the way we live and interact within our contemporary environment. He has designed interiors such as the new Qantas Airbus fleet, a concept car for Ford and even a concept jet for the Foundation Cartier.

“We are thrilled to be offering this prototype for Newson’s Wood chair, a rare early pre-production model of one of his most popular designs,’’ Webbs' managing director Sophie Coupland said.

Internationally, contemporary art has never been as popular, she said. Earlier this year, Sotheby’s turned over a record stg83.9million from a contemporary sales in the London showrooms. The fifty-six lots sold set the highest total ever for a sale of contemporary art. Not so many years ago such a sale would have been unthinkable.

The same trend has hit New Zealand and buyers have focused on art produced recently. The catalogue includes hot contemporary artists Shane Cotton, Seraphine Pick, Michael Parekowhai and Peter Robinson alongside relative new comers.

``Back in November 1979, Webb’s held the first ever sale dedicated to New Zealand contemporary art. The modest black and white catalogue included the names McCahon, Hotere, Hanly, Mrkusich, Trusttum, Fomison, Clairmont, Smither, Walters, Sydney, Watkins, Woollaston and Illingworth.

``Today, when every one of these artists is well represented in public collections and almost a household name, it is worth noting that nothing in the catalogue then would have cost more than a few hundred dollars, (the McCahons achieved $700 and $800),’’ Coupland said.


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