September 13, 2008 - Govett-Brewster Art Gallery - Peter Robinson
September 13, 2008

Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson Soft Rock Baroque 2008 (detail)
Courtesy the artist and Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington, Photo: Justine Lord.

Peter Robinson: Snow Ball Blind Time 
Curator: Rhana Devenport
13 September – 23 November 2008

Queen St
New Plymouth 4342
Aotearoa New Zealand

www.govettbrewster.com

Peter Robinson has slipped the rug from under Aotearoa New Zealand’s identity politics and critical fetishes for nearly two decades. Now manipulating that definitive material of disposable culture – polystyrene – the artist has turned his aggressive humour and formal concerns towards the transformations of internal architectural spaces within a critique of global consumerist excesses.

Snow Ball Blind Time is Robinson’s most recent and expansive project, commissioned by and presented at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. The work harnesses the language of the spectacular, it inhabits the converted cinema building, devouring the internal spaces of the building with formal wit, critical bite and comic giganticism.

Curated by Gallery Director, Rhana Devenport, Snow Ball Blind Time occupies the entire 574 square metres of the Gallery. The installation responds to and engages with the Gallery’s seven interconnecting internal spaces to form a vast spatial drawing. This is only the second time since the opening exhibition in 1970 by Leon Narbey, that the entire Gallery has been offered to an artist in a single commissioned work.

Robinson’s practice has investigated the complexities of interracial politics within consumerist landscapes in a provocative, controversial and chimerical manner. His current work engages with issues and concepts related to democracy, freedom and post-industrial production in relation to social responsibility and the environment within a language of dangerous and romantic beauty.

The use of expanded polystyrene foam as a material is something that Robinson has interrogated over recent time, however his work has taken a significant shift in direction since late 2006 (ACK at Artspace, Auckland), seen in a series of exhibitions in Auckland, Berlin, Christchurch, Melbourne, Sydney and Wellington. Robinson will push this new approach to materiality, form, consumerism and psycho-architectural space to massive and inexorable scale in Snow Ball Blind Time.

Peter Robinson was born in Ashburton, Canterbury in 1966, and lives and works in Auckland. He is currently Associate Professor at the Elam School of Fine Arts, National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, University of Auckland. He has held artist residencies in Aachen, Düsseldorf, Berlin and Sydney and guest lectureships in the US, Sweden and Denmark. Exhibitions include the 8th Baltic Triennale of International Art, Vilnius and ‘Iconoclash’ at ZKM, Karlsruhe in 2002; ‘bi-polar’, 49th Venice Biennale, New Zealand Pavilion in 2001; Biennale of Sydney in 1998; the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale in 1997; and ‘Steirischer Herbst 96: Inklusion-Exklusion, Künstlerhaus, Graz, Asia-Pacific Triennial, Brisbane and Bienal de São Paulo in 1996. Robinson was recently nominated a finalist for the 2008 Walters Prize (opening 12 September in Auckland), the premier contemporary art award for outstanding contribution to contemporary art in New Zealand.

Snow Ball Blind Time will be accompanied by a publication that documents projects between ACK (2006) and Snow Ball Blind Time and includes new texts by Allan Smith (curator, critic and Senior Lecturer at the Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland, New Zealand), Rachel Kent (Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia) and Rhana Devenport (Director, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand).

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
Queen Street Private Bag 2025
New Plymouth New Zealand 4342
Open daily 10am – 5pm

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