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April 4, 2011 | by  | in Arts Visual Arts | [ssba]

Points of Contact at the Adam Art Gallery

If you’ve never ventured into the Adam Art Gallery before, now is the time to do so. Their new exhibition, Points of Contact, comprises reconstructed and archival works by New Zealanders Len Lye and Jim Allen, with Hélio Oiticica’s work making a first time appearance in New Zealand.

Curated by the Govett-Brewster Gallery, the exhibition draws connections between the artists while they were creating highly innovate work in the sixties and seventies, trying to challenge in their own ways, as artist Phil Dadson says, “the restrictive nature of modernism”.

The gallery has been transformed into a UV light, textual and optical interactive space. Novel architectural space creates a winding pathway of the unexpected. The danger is, of course, the temptation you feel once you enter to walk through the strands of plastic, be encompassed in the shapes of Allen’s Small Worlds works and feel you’re at a rave (as one passing woman commented) in view of Lye’s several kinetic and film pieces. Each room offers a new mini-exhibition, with the journey culminating in a Brazilian cloak-wearing experience that invites people to adorn themselves in brightly coloured cloth in whichever way they please- which highly satisfies the tactile urge and invites group participation.

In their individual ways, each artist is attempting to draw art as an experience and interaction rather than a selection of quietly viewed objects. Commenting on our human nature and re-defining the nature of art is a task they take up with much success. The video works of Jim Allen’s Contact offer a poetic symbolism of the start of a human interaction—the signals of torches flashed between people reminiscent of a first gesture, a glance. Oiticica’s work is not widely known in New Zealand, and this is the perfect opportunity to discover more about a highly innovative (and colourful!) artist.

The exhibition runs til May 22, definitely worth dropping in on between classes. (Open 11-5, Tuesday-Sunday)


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Comments (4)

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  1. Grant says:

    It is pleasing to see the works of Len Lye and other innnovative artists being reflected upon and their works displayed and interpreted. I liked the review. Grant.

  2. Lynne Renew says:

    What an interesting and immersive sounding exhibition. Disappointed that I won’t be in Wellington to see it

  3. Lynne Renew says:

    Thanks for this great review, Zoe. The exhibition sounds like a wonderfully intriguing and immersive experience.’I’m disappointed that I won’t be in Wellington to see it.

  4. Hugh Jass says:

    Wowza. Sounds like a belly tickler!

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