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Kicking Against The Pricks

Kicking Against The Pricks
Dan Arps, Stella Corkery, Julian Dashper, Jacqueline Fraser, Glenn Otto, Michael Stevenson

10 September - 11 October
Preview Wed. 10 September 6-8pm


Referring to the title of the third studio album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, which in turn is lifted from the King James Bible, this group show brings together works that operate with varying degrees of dissidence. As a metaphor for artistic practice, the title guides this show in examining the dual importance and futility of experimentation: of refusal, disobedience and divergence.

In this group of works form and content flout regulation and evade convention. Dan Arps’ sublimation prints on satin utilise a process common in textile mass production – the digitally generated heat transfer. Across the series of Unbroken Chain works, loops and strings of circular shackles hang on vivid backgrounds of colour. The lurid yet soft hues recall the diffused effect of canned spray paint and the marks and gestures allude to scribbles and graffiti, as well as the ‘anti-social’ tag.

In Stella Corkery’s paintings muddy waves radiate across the canvas like moving vectors of sound. Forged from a background in experimental music, Corkery’s works are messy and boisterous, allied with the anti-establishment often alluded to in the sarcastic phrases that sometimes appear in her work (keep smiling the boss loves idiots). Conversely, Julian Dashper’s cool minimalism acts as an amalgamation of formal concerns and conceptual content. Fond of quoting Donald Judd's likening of Duchamp to 'somebody who invented fire but did nothing with it,' Dashper's work finds a duality of aesthetic and conceptual concerns without placing one foot clearly in either camp.

Similar to Corkery’s engagement with the underground, Jacqueline Fraser’s works reference the history of collage as a subversive tool. Combining fashion imagery torn from magazines with luxurious textiles, Fraser presents youthful and idealised bodies, teasing us with our own preoccupations and desires. For Fraser, to buck against what we want is to truly deceive ourselves. Glen Otto’s works revise modernist masterpieces as layered line drawings in permanent marker. Like Fraser’s commodity fetish objects Otto’s works play satire on the cannon, gently tugging at the harness but not quite breaking free. Michael Stevenson's works document the artist Jorg Immendorff's presence in Auckland during the financial crisis of the late eighties. Pairing headlines of Immendorf's antics with those of economic turmoil, Stevenson aligns the outrageous and flamboyant figure of 'the artist' with historical change and rupture; be it good, bad or otherwise.

Dan Arps (b. 1976, Christchurch) held a McCahon House residency in 2014 and was the recipient of the 2010 Walters Prize. Recent exhibitions include Freedom Farmers: New Zealand Artists Growing Ideas, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, 2013 (group) and After Hobson Gardens, Michael Lett, Auckland, 2013.

Stella Corkery (b. 1960, Tuatapere) graduated from Elam School of Fine Art with an MFA in 2013. Recent exhibitions include Caravan, Station, Melbourne, 2014; Freedom Farmers: New Zealand Artists Growing Ideas, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, 2013 (group); and Episodic Nomadic, Gloria Knight, Auckland, 2013.

Julian Dashper (b. 1960, Auckland) graduated with a BFA from Elam School of Fine Art in 1982. He exhibited widely in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. His major New Zealand exhibitions include, Julian Dashper’s Greatest Hits, Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, 1992; The Big Bang Theory, Artspace, Auckland, 1994; and The Twist, Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton, 1998.

Jacqueline Fraser (b. 1956, Dunedin) has exhibited extensively in a career that spans three decades of practice. She has been a Walters Prize finalist and represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale in 2001. Recent exhibitions include The Making of the Ciao Manhattan Tapes, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, 2013 and The Making of American Gangster, Michael Lett, Auckland, 2012.

Glenn Otto (b. 1989, Hamilton) is currently completing his MFA at Elam School of Fine Art. Recent exhibitions include Keep Calm and Don't Mention the War, Plaza, Auckland, 2014; Café Paintings, RM, Auckland, 2013; and Glenn Otto Presents: Shallow Valley......, Ferari, Auckland, 2012.

Michael Stevenson (b. 1964, Inglewood) has been living and working in Berlin since 2000. In 2003 he was selected to make the solo representation for New Zealand at the Venice Biennale. Recent exhibitions includeThe Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, 2014; Proof of the Devil, Michael Lett, Auckland, 2013; and A Life of Crudity, Vulgarity, and Blindness, Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, 2012.

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