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Shane Cotton exhibition to feature stunning new works

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Shane Cotton Hiruhārama 2009–12. Acrylic, photo etching and aquatint on paper.
Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, purchased 2013. Courtesy of the artist.

Shane Cotton exhibition to feature stunning new works

Leaps, freefalls and charged collisions make up Christchurch Art Gallery’s latest exhibition featuring the works of Shane Cotton — one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed painters.

The double-venue exhibition, Baseland, opens this Saturday, 7 June, and combines major recent paintings with stunning new works made especially for the show, including a new mural-scale painting, a spectacular suite of “target” prints, and painted baseball bats that suggest both trophies and weapons.

Director Jenny Harper says it was Cotton’s exhilarating works that inspired the Gallery’s celebrated Australasian touring exhibition, Shane Cotton: The Hanging Sky, in 2012, and now Christchurch audiences are able to experience a selection in Baseland.

“In the mid-2000s, Shane Cotton’s work headed in a spectacular and unexpected direction — skywards,” she says.

“He painted the first in what would become a major series of ‘sky-scapes’ — vast, nocturnal spaces where birds speed and plummet.

“Across the last half-decade his works have become increasingly complex and provocative, incorporating ragged skywriting and a host of charged images.

Baseland is an opportunity for Christchurch audiences to revisit and reconnect with Cotton’s work, while also experiencing some of his latest remarkable pieces.”

The show is accompanied by a critically acclaimed book, Shane Cotton: The Hanging Sky, with contributions by Justin Paton, head curator (international art) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, New York poet Eliot Weinberger, City Gallery Wellington’s chief curator, Robert Leonard, and Melbourne art writer and curator Geraldine Kirrihi Barlow.

Shane Cotton’s works have been exhibited at many leading galleries in New Zealand and Australia, as well as in Spain and Prague.

His work evocatively includes both Māori iconography and culture, such as shrunken heads (mokomokai), native birds such as tui, and European symbols and items. His paintings have explored questions of colonialism, cultural identity, Māori spirituality, and life and death.

Cotton received a Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation in 2008, and an ONZM (Officer of the said Order), for services to the Visual arts, in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours.

Baseland will be held at Christchurch Art Gallery’s temporary exhibition space at 209 Tuam Street, Christchurch (7 June–17 August), and Ilam Campus Gallery at the School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury (7 June–27 July).

Opening times for both venues:
10am–5pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am–4pm, Saturday and Sunday


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