To coincide with the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival (16 - 21 May), Gow Langsford Gallery presents a group exhibition of rare and limited edition publications from a selection of prominent local and international artists including Ai Weiwei, David Hockney and Rohan Wealleans.
Chinese contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei (b.1957, China) has had a prolific career presented in the comprehensive monograph published by Taschen, Ai Weiwei: The Artist Activist. This limited edition hardcover publication rests upon a stand made from Chinese marble and is wrapped in a Habotai silk scarf. When unwrapped it reveals a detail image of Straight (2008-2012), an installation sculpture made of over 90 tonnes of steel reinforcing bars left mangled from the Sichuan earthquake of 2008, printed on the silk. Each bar was painstakingly straightened and laid upon the floor meticulously in a wave-like formation, rippling along the ground. The image printed on the silk sets the precedent for the contents with never before seen images of his life and artistic practice, alongside detailed essays and musing by Weiwei.
David Hockney (b.1967, England) is perhaps one of the biggest names in his generation of Western artists and the recently published A Bigger Book by Taschen provides a monographic overview of his prolific career spanning over 60 years. Presented in brilliant colour, his iconic works adorn the pages of this limited edition oversized publication allowing you to immerse yourself in his artworks. The SUMO book sits aloft a limited edition stand created in collaboration with internationally renowned industrial designer Marc Newson. Accompanying A Bigger Book is a limited edition ink-jet printed iPad drawing; a new artistic medium that Hockney has been pursuing over the past years, one of which most traditional artists putting pencil to paper, or brush to canvas would dismiss, yet Hockney has embraced.
New Zealand artist Rohan Wealleans (b. 1977, New Zealand) transforms an ordinary book sleeve into a sculptural work of art by adorning it with his meticulously cut layers of acrylic paint. These geometric, segmented forms are pasted onto the front of the slipcase for Current (2008), a book that presents contemporary art from New Zealand and Australia. This small edition of 10 that he completed in 2010, of which we have two as part of this exhibition, showcases Wealleans ability to transform paint into an almost new medium.
Image: Rohan Wealleans, Current special edition, 2010, Acrylic paint on the slipcase of Current: Contemporary Art from Australia and New Zealand (2008)