Arguably the most respected contemporary artist working in New Zealand today, Cotton’s work is held in private and public collections across Australia, New Zealand and internationally. Opening on 10 May 2012, Smoking Gun follows the artist’s interest in the works of the surrealist/cubist painters. The exhibition also references the early Maori modernist movement of the 50s and 60s.

Art Exhibition previously on at Anna Schwartz Gallery Melbourne in Victoria, Australia.
From Thursday 10 May 2012 to Saturday 09 June 2012
Launch Wednesday 09 May 2012, 6-8pm

Arrangements, 2012 image Block Head image Blue Moon image Double Profile image Father image Pro et contra image Reach image Reproduction image Sister and Brother image Smoking Gun image Tomorrow, Yesterday image Traditional Handles and Switches image White Hand image

Published by anonymous on Tuesday 08 May 2012.
Contact the publisher.

Smoking Gun comprises a series of artworks that follows the artist’s interest in the works of the surrealist/cubist painters. It also references the early Maori modernist movement of the 50s and 60s. These works consist of blended spaces where the abstract, real, and imagined create and explore ideas about essence, authenticity and centrality, but in playful and peculiar ways.

Smoking Gun, the work after which the exhibition is named, features a stylised ‘tiki’ in the ‘modern’ formed against a faint background of smoke, creating a stark juxtaposition between the high key colour of the figure and the allusion of smoke. This work and the overall exhibition pays homage to key figures of the early Contemporary Maori art movement of the 50s, 60s, while playfully exploring the beauty that arises from the unexpected and the unknown.

The title of the work plays on the history of introduced ‘musket’ technology that radically changed tribal warfare in the early and later part of the 18th century. It is also an allegory to the introduction of new art forms (modernism) that re-defined and reset the boundaries of Maori art in the mid-20th century and the emergence of a ‘contemporary’ Maori art.

‘I have purposefully chosen to make the works at a scale in keeping with early surrealist works of the 1930s. Intimate, singular, object, domestic,’ said Shane Cotton.

‘As well as the paintings there will be a series of six constructions, mixed media, framed. These works are cubist based, but render faces frontally and in profile as in traditional Maori carved forms,’ continued Mr. Cotton.

Cotton’s work is held in the following public collections: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Auckland Art Gallery; Chartwell Collection, New Zealand; College House, University of Canterbury, Christchurch; Christchurch City Gallery; Dunedin Public Art Gallery; Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth; Manawatu Art Gallery, Palmerston North; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington; Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Christchurch; Victoria University of Wellington; Wellington City Council.