In May 2008, Gow Langsford Gallery opened new premises on Lorne Street with a group exhibition featuring international artists Damien Hirst, Tony Cragg, Liu Fei, Shen Xiochun and Ruud Van Empel as well as local artists Chris Heaphy and James Cousins. Thirteen years and over a hundred exhibitions later, Gow Langsford is proud to host its final exhibition in the space, this time focusing entirely on New Zealand contemporary artists.
The exhibition, titled Frieze, is the third iteration of a show that takes inspiration from the classical frieze tradition where a long stretch of painting, sculpture or calligraphy wraps a wall or architrave. Previous iterations spanned the interior of the Kitchener Street Gallery with paintings in 2005, and Lorne Street in 2011. Here in its third iteration, with works made specifically for the space, the exhibition celebrates this moment in time in contemporary art and pays homage to the site that has hosted numerous artists' projects in the past.
Director Gary Langsford, who has been based in an office at Lorne Street over the past thirteen years, says of the space: "When we found this building thirteen years ago the space the gallery now occupies was the lobby of a somewhat dingy backpacker's hostel. This space along with the floors above were gutted and transformed into the building as it exists today. The four metre high stud height is almost unique in the inner city and by creating a large viewing window that was able to be opened the gallery became our prime space for exhibiting large and sometimes heavy sculpture exhibitions as well as oversized paintings. In future most exhibitions will be held in our Kitchener street gallery opposite the Auckland Art Gallery. However large scale sculpture exhibitions and exhibitions on a scale not suitable for the Kitchener street space will be held in a variety of offsite spaces. The use of a number of different spaces will provide an exciting and event driven program which will meet the new demands of an evolving art business and provide more variety for both artists and patrons alike.”