Venice Biennale 2009

Venice Biennale 2009

New Zealand Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

July 4, 2008

New Zealand Pavilion Venice Biennale 2009

Two artists will represent New Zealand at the 53rd Venice Biennale of International art; Judy Millar’s installation, The Collision, curated by Leonhard Emmerling and Francis Upritchard’s installation, Save Yourself curated by Heather Galbraith and London-based Francesco Manacorda.

Artist Judy Millar is considered one of New Zealand’s foremost painters. Central themes in the artist’s large scale paintings include the relationships between canvas and paint, static and movement and the place of painting in art history.

Judy Millar studied at the University of Auckland, Elam School of Fine Arts, graduating with a BFA in 1980 and an MFA in 1983, returning in 1989 to the University of Auckland to study the writings of Italian feminist authors. She gained an Italian Government Scholarship in 1990 and spent a year in Turin researching the work of Italian artists from the 1960s and 1970s. While there she became increasingly convinced that painting could still be a vital part of the contemporary artistic landscape.

Curator Leonhard Emmerling has an international reputation as a curator, art theorist /historian. He has lectured in art history and authored several books including Jean-Michel Basquiat, 2003 and Jackson Pollock, 2003, both published by Taschen. Born in Wertheim, Germany in 1961, Emmerling immigrated to New Zealand to take up his current position of director at St Paul ST Gallery in 2006. Previous to this he was Director of the Kunstverein Ludwigsburg in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

Created for the 53rd Venice Biennale, The Collision will be an installation of large scale painted canvases that will poke through floors and ceilings, reach out into the space beyond the proper confinements of the building, fold in and out and deliberately discard conventional modes of display and exhibition design. It will challenge the traditional relationship between the object of art and the exhibition space.

Francis Upritchard is a New Zealand born artist living in London. She has exhibited extensively in Aotearoa New Zealand, Europe and America since graduating from Canterbury University’s Ilam School of Fine Arts in 1997. In 2006 Francis Uprichard was the winner of the Walters Prize, often referred to as the New Zealand equivalent of the Tate Prize, Tate Britain.

In 2007-08 Francis Upritchard took up a three month residency at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery resulting in the exhibition rainwob I before participating in a residency at Artspace Sydney where she presented rainwob II. These exhibitions continue to explore Upritchard’s fascination with the dislocated; a mix of history retrieved, reworked and reinvested with new meaning.

Heather Galbraith is Senior Curator/Manager Curatorial Programmes at City Gallery, Wellington, NZ.

She studied at Elam School of Fine Arts before moving to London where she completing a MA in Curating at Goldmiths College. She worked as Exhibitions Organiser at Camden Arts Centre for seven years, delivering exhibitions, off-site projects and publications. In 2004 Galbraith returned to New Zealand as Director of St. Paul ST Gallery, Auckland before taking up her current position at City Gallery, Wellington in 2005.

Francesco Manacorda, Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery since 2007, has realised the large-scale Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art (with co-curator Lydia Yee) and Hans Schabus: Next time I’m Here, I’ll Be There, and is working on a large exhibition on Robert Smithson and his legacy to be realised in 2009. In 2007 he curated Venetian, Atmospheric: Tobias Putrih – the Slovenian Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale.

Francis Upritchard’s Save Yourself for Venice Biennale 2009 will be an imaginary landscape that exists in an indeterminate historical period. The figures populating this imaginary landscape are detailed with a psychedelic surface and handmade quality. The landscape combines the antique and futuristic, making the scene both familiar and unsettling. The work explores ideas about time, hope and evolutionary change.

Both projects are being developed in association with New Zealand Commissioner Jenny Harper and are initiatives of Creative New Zealand the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.

To find out more please contact Hannah Evans:

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New Zealand Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
July 4, 2008

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