Meet the Artist, Susan Te Kahurangi King

APS Editions – formerly, ‘Auckland Print Studio’ – released a new portfolio of large-scale lithographs by Susan Te Kahurangi King.

In this new series of hand-coloured lithographs, Susan King creates emergent, cell-like geometries that teem with possibility, a Cambrian explosion of kaleidoscopic, interlocking colour. King’s lyrical abstractions are networks or lattices for the mind to traverse, meditative spaces that enable dream, reflection and thought to flourish.

Susan Te Kahurangi King (b. 1951) is a self-taught artist whose interest in drawing began during her childhood in the 1950s, and over the subsequent decades has developed into a visually rich, idiosyncratic and evocative practice. Te Kahurangi King is non-verbal. The artist stopped speaking around the age of four – and from then on, her artwork has been her primary form of communication.

During her early years, much of King’s work included a strong focus on the deconstruction, recontextualisation and interpretation of pop culture iconography, ranging from Disney and Warner Bros. cartoon and comic strip characters to motifs drawn from advertising signage and illustrations. Amongst other sources, the fluid, energetic linework and rounded volumes of imported American comics provided King a wealth of motifs; Donald Duck’s blue sailor suit and hat feature in an extended series of 1960s and ‘70s works, while the sleek contours of various Disney characters’ hands, beaks and limbs gradually fold and coalesce into a novel, biomorphic visual discourse that is both culturally resonant and intensely personal.

APS Editions presented at the Aotearoa Art Fair 2022. 

Image: Susan Te Kahurangi King print. Courtesy of the artist and APS Editions. Photography by Sam Hartnett.

Meet the Artist, Peter Adsett with PAULNACHE

After decades studying Māori art, and that of central desert aboriginal artists, Peter Adsett brings new dimensions to his medium of abstract painting. He shares with the latter a technique of horizontality, working flat on the ground, since by this means he avoids looking at the world across distance, with a measuring eye, and thus achieving “good form” (gestalt), which he understands as a kind of picturing. Picturing, in turn, is the imitation of a model, an original, that remains outside painting, at a remove from the material object, the canvas.

Adsett’s tertiary education at Palmerston North Teacher’s College under Cliff Whiting, Frank Davis and others, also shaped this approach to his medium, as did his childhood apprenticeship in his father’s cabinetmaking workshop in Gisborne.  Following his move to Australia in 1981, Adsett gained an M.F.A. from the Northern Territory University, and a Ph.D. from Australian National University and has worked closely with artists from the central desert.

Growing up in the vicinity of Matawhero, near Turanganui-a-Kiwa / Gisborne, fostered an early sense of historic injustices. In recent decades Adsett has dealt with the related massacres at Matawhero, and Ngatapa Pa (Matawhero, Bullet Holes and Bandages, 2009; Betrayal 2012), both exhibitions having been endorsed by Ngāi Tāmanuhiri elder, Olivia Horowia Bradbrook, before travelling to different sites in the North Island of Aotearoa.

Tri-Nations 1st 2nd 3rd Test, 2021
Tri-Nations 3rd Test, 2021
Number 8 (diptych), Foul Play Series, 2021

In late 2019 Adsett showed a two-part exhibition at PAULNACHE entitled October, and Navigation. The show marked the 250th anniversary of Cook’s landing in Poverty Bay, a highly sensitive event for the local population. The paintings were devoid of any imaginable expressiveness, being constructed from pale, cream-coloured raw linen. All the markings – vertical lines of black, cream and grey acrylic – were banished to the far extremes and side edges of the stretcher. On the reverse side of each painting is the date of a particular conflict from colonial times. The series signalled history’s general silence on such matters. On a neighbouring wall, the theme continued with a vast wall on which the painter combined black geometry with erased drawings, leaving ghostly imprints, nails and holes, and naming the whole, with unmissable irony, Navigation.

Adsett’s most recent work, made during the long Covid-19 lockdown in Victoria, has turned to “black and white relations” in a trio of paintings titled Tri-Nations. Begun at the time of the ‘All Blacks’ rugby success in Australia in 2020, and coinciding with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests in the USA, with its echoes in Melbourne and Sydney, the work develops a significant aspect of the October series. With his habitual ironic humour, Adsett focusses the spectator’s gaze on the off-sides, the edges of the (‘playing’) field. The surprise produced by this wit is more than a match for the deft, balletic play of the kiwi team.

Travelling back and forth between New Zealand and Australia, for the purposes of teaching and exhibiting, and maintaining close, familial links in both countries, the painter has created his own one-man cross-Tasman ‘bubble!’ – extract from an essay by art historian Mary Alice-Lee.

Behind the Scenes with artist Jan Albers

Jan Albers (b. 1971, Wuppertal, Germany) will present at the 2022 Aotearoa Art Fair in November with Fox Jensen & Fox Jensen McCrory. Jan Albers was born into a missionary family, grew up in Namibia and studied at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf, home of luminaries such as Joseph Beuys, Imi Knoebel, Gerhard Richter, and Blinky Palermo. His unique pieces range from the faceted elegance of bronze wall reliefs to the nigh-on chromatic virulence of his painted wedge or chainsaw pieces in acrylic vitrines.

“Bold contrasts permeate Jan Albers’ works. Their specific dialectic of transitions and transformations finds expression in a vibrantly energetic immediateness. They are simultaneously pictures and objects, pictorial sculptures and sculptural painting, exuberant and self-contained, attractive and subversive, light and heavy, disquieting and buoyant.”

– ‘hEavydutybEauty’ by Belinda Grace Gardner.


Jan Albers, grEEdygrEEn, 2021.
Jan Albers in his studio. Photo by Robin Hartschen.

Jan Albers trained as a painter at the Dusseldorf Kunstakademie though from the earliest moment he realised that he was not going to be a painter in the orthodox sense. There would be no fine cedar stretchers nor carefully folded linen corners. Rather than offering pictorial space Albers objects sit out from the wall coming out to meet us. Their faceted forms caught happily between Judd and Picasso. Having dislocated the figure down into flat planes, Albers takes the Cubist paradigm and reverses it. Like metallic origami, these figures are folded crisply, visually expanding and so becoming much more than their material.

As much as Albers wished as a student to eschew convention his work touches lightly on various 20th century moments. One feels echoes of Judd and Chamberlain in their robust materiality and determined “object” status, the visceral impact of Fontana’s puncturing of the picture plane in his “chain-saw” lacerations. But there are also reverberations in form and composition that recall his namesake Anni Albers’ refined geometries or Frank Stella’s shaped canvases. Critically though Jan’s work has an extraordinary sense of contemporaneity. As cognizant as he clearly is of history, he feels determined to extend his own artistic vocabulary so that it embraces a range of connections both to architecture, even the environment complete with its blend of allure and toxicity.

Watch the video below, made as a contribution to Kunstmuseum Bonn’s ongoing series “Behind the Scenes” in 2020.

Meet Gallerist Nat Tozer, mothermother

Introducing mothermother – a collaborative project space where each exhibition is made by two women artists, who then select two more women artists to make the next exhibition.

Founder, organiser and artist, Natalie Tozer describes mothermother as “…a project space for both emerging artists and established artists who may (or may not) be represented by our good friends – the dealer galleries! The aim of the project is to offer space and opportunity to artists to collaborate or initiate work within the mothermother network. The inception of this project was two-pronged. At the time I was doing my MFA where 75% of my fellow students were women. I came to read Fiona Jack’s counterfutures article on the on-going issues of representation in the market and collections, to find the stats revealed 75% male representation. 

The other reason I started this project was based on my research around collective modes of knowledge sharing and unearthing. Usually my unearthing is geologically based,  but I also wanted to start a more conceptual and didactic journey about the ground. I started looking at grass-roots organisations with flat, non-hierarchial, anti-capitalist formations and I wondered what an anarchist syndicalist network would look like in the art world! It was then I decided the space I had the privilege to share should be for woman artists. I’m definitely a fan of exploring the murky grey space of complex issues but in this case the simplicity of 100% representation seemed like the right thing to do.

My role is to organise the projects curatorial function where exhibiting artists pass the baton by inviting the next artist into the collective. It’s an ever-expanding circle of caretakers that ensure space is available for future generations of the project. We’ve been going since mid 2019 and I cant wait to share the upcoming work!”

mothermother presented the work of all 18 “mothermother” artists in their 18 sq metre booth in He Itithe section of the 2022 Art Fair for new galleries and artist-run spaces, on the mezzanine of The Cloud.

Natalie Tozer, Companion Pieces, 2021.
Caitlin Devoy, Power, 2021.
Sandra Bushby, Unknown Sea Lilly, 2021.

Emma Fitts’ Sculptural Installation at Objectspace

Lapping at Your Door is a sculptural commission by Emma Fitts, which was shown at Objectspace in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.  Emma is represented in Aotearoa by Melanie Roger Gallery and presented new works with the gallery in a group presentation at the Aotearoa Art Fair.

Muse with Lace in the Laundry, 2018.
Composition in Green, 2019.
Jacket Cut Out 9, 2019.

In the outdoor installation, Lapping at Your Door, a series of dyed and layered canvas panels attached to a tubular steel structure form a new architecture for Objectspace’s courtyard plinth.

Emma’s soft architecture folds together various research threads: modernist design, the body in relation to built environments and the construction of clothing, and how queer physicality can be expressed through the collapsing of architectural space.

Between 1926 — 1929 Eileen Gray designed and constructed E-1027 on the coastline of the Côte d’Azur in the south of France. The front façade of this iconic piece of modernist architecture is spanned by a canvas canopy, its textile softness creating a porous threshold where delineation between spaces is softened.  Gray’s canopies serve as an example of the architectural and design developments made by women who both practiced within and subverted historical cannons. For Fitts’, these designs embody the desires of their creators and occupants. They are a backdrop for socialising and conversation in open space — often in radical ways, and in queer company.

Referencing these histories and the architecture of her own home, Fitts’ has constructed an outdoor installation for Objectspace, incorporating her signature fabric banners, imagining how bodies of space that resist clear demarcation provide alternative ways of seeing and making.

For more info on Emma Fitts practice, and contact details for Melanie Roger Gallery, click here.

Emma Fitts, Lapping at Your Door, installed at Objectspace. Image courtesy of the artist and Objectspace.

Meet the Artist, Atong Atem with MARS Gallery

Introducing Atong Atem whose photographic works will be presented by Naarm/Melbourne based, MARS Gallery at the 2022 Aotearoa Art Fair in November.

Atong Atem is an Ethiopian-born, Naarm/Melbourne-based artist who works predominantly with photography, although Atem works also in video and is a writer and curator. The South Sudanese artist uses portraiture as a means of recounting indigenous stories that throughout history have been lost – or rather overwritten by colonial knowledge. Atem’s work reclaims this knowledge. She uses a vibrant colour palette coupled with a critical lens to create works which are eye catching yet also deeply political and sincere. In a recent article with The Guardian, Atong Atem commented on her work saying: “‘Yes, it’s political, gendered and racial,’ Atem says. ‘But what isn’t?’” ¹

Atong Atem’s photography was shown by MARS Gallery in a solo exhibition at photo basel – Switzerland’s first and only international art fair dedicated to photography based art.

Green Fields, 2022
I Have Two of Everything 1, 2022

¹ Keeping it real: the vivid photography of Atong Atem in pictures.

Earlier this year, Atong Atem was the first recipient of the La Prairie Art Award, an acquisitive award championing the work of Australian women artists presented by the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, and La Prairie.

The new partnership between the Art Gallery and Swiss luxury skincare house La Prairie, the prestigious award supports Australian women artists through the development or expansion of a new body of work. The La Prairie Art Award aims to support and nurture the recipient’s practice and increase their international profile. Each work will be acquired by the Art Gallery for its collection.

Atem was selected as the inaugural recipient of the award by the Art Gallery of NSW and La Prairie’s global board of directors. Atem was awarded for her originality and ambitiously crafted and vibrant photographic portraits that celebrate their subjects.

Atem has exhibited her work across Australia, including MUMA Monash, Gertrude Contemporary, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales and State Library Victoria. Atem was also the recipient of the inaugural National Gallery of Victoria and MECCA M-Power scholarship in 2018.

Introducing Artist Gerold Miller with STARKWHITE

Gerold Miller (b. 1961 Germany, lives and works between Berlin, Germany and Pistoia, Italy). Miller’s debut exhibition at Starkwhite presents the largest display of his Monoform series to date. A group of artworks made of horizontally hung beams that talk directly to the galleries architecture, whilst exploring the concept of an open structure. Alongside these is a group of the artists “paintings” comprising his notorious Sets, Instant Vision and Total Object series. These works are made with aluminium or stainless steel substrates, coated in either matte or glossy lacquer to present finely shaded gradients and bold monochromatic tones.

Miller is known for both his “sculptural” works which discuss architectural and spacial properties and his aluminium and steel “paintings,” which explore the rudimentary basis of both painting and sculpture as practices.

This exhibition, sees him oscillate between image, relief, sculpture, and architecture, all radically (and precisely) reduced to a composition of colour, line, shape and form. Miller’s practice is one of space and time, stagnancy and movement, subject and object, where viewer and work merge into one unified artwork.

Gerold Miller’s work was included in STARKWHITE’s presentation at the 2022 Aotearoa Art Fair.

Image credits: (Top, left-right) Gerold Miller, set 507, 2018 Laquered stainless steel 60h x 48w x 3.50d cm. set 508, 2018. Laquered stainless steel 60h x 48w x 3.50d cm. set 510, 2018. Laquered stainless steel 60h x 48w x 3.50d cm. (Above, left-right) installation image featuring Gerold Miller at Starkwhite, Auckland. Gerold Miller, I love Kreuzberg1, 2006 Digital print, framed in black. Monoform 71, 2018. Six laquered aluminium angles 15h x 300w 15d cm. Images courtesy of the artist and Starkwhite.

Meet the Gallery, Haydens from Naarm/Melbourne

Haydens - Represented Artists- 2022-074

Haydens is a gallery in Brunswick, run by Hayden Stuart alongside a well established artists studio complex.

Established in 2018, the gallery focus has been to support a new generation of artists by facilitating private and institutional acquisitions, providing opportunities to invest in the experimental, critical, and socially engaged art practices which shape the landscape of contemporary art in Australia.

Marking a significant commitment to the development of contemporary art, Haydens have recently announced representation of five early career artists – Guy Grabowsky, Amalia Lindo, Sebastian Temple, Jacqueline Stojanović and Tim Wagg.

Each of these artists have been involved in their exhibition program since the beginning, and ongoing support will continue to be provided through collaborative exhibition making and an expanded creative direction. Motivated by their varied approaches to art making Haydens looks forward to assisting the development of their dynamic practices into the future.

Guy Grabowsky is a Naarm/Melbourne based artist working with unconventional analogue and digital photography techniques. He utilises a hybrid and expanded field of photography and image making — manipulating the photographic print’s intrinsic surface to alter the expectations and perceptions associated with the constructs of the ‘photograph’ and ‘image’.

Amalia Lindo is multi-disciplinary artist based in Narrm/Melbourne, Australia. Incorporating human and algorithmic decision-making to the practice of filmmaking, her video and installation practice explores the impacts of human-machine interaction as a result of automation. By aggregating video material from social networking and crowdsourcing platforms, her work examines how automated technologies displace human labour by blurring the boundaries between work and consumption.

Jacqueline Stojanović lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne. She is a visual artist engaged with an expanded textile practice that considers histories of the handmade through the processes of weaving, drawing, and installation.

Sebastian Temple – also based in Naarm/Melbourne, combines ceramics and drawing with materials that are available at hand. This includes old detritus, raw materials, and scraps pilfered from previous works which marinate together in a state of continuous becoming.

Tim Wagg is an artist currently based in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from Elam School of Fine Arts in 2013 and was a McCahon House Resident in 2019. Working across various mediums including video, installation, and digital printing, Wagg’s work explores the intersections of politics, identity and technology within the context of New Zealand.

Images: (Top) installation image featuring Guy Grabowsky, Sebastian Temple, Amalia Lindo, Jacqueline Stojanović, and Tim Wagg. (Above) Installation image featuring Jacqueline Stojanović. (Grid, left-right) Guy Grabowsky, I need everything before I can do anything, 2022. Jacqueline Stojanović, Grid XII, 2022. Sebastian Temple, Giant Bin #2, 2020. Tim Wagg, Stumbling alongside one another #3, 2018.

Meet the Artist: Guido Maestri


Renowned Australian-artist Guido Maestri presented at the 2022 Aotearoa Art Fair with Sydney and Singapore-based Yavuz Gallery.

Maestri (b. 1974) is known for his highly textural, expressive works that explore the painted materiality, gesture and observation. Although he is noted for his en plein air paintings and strong connection to the Australian landscape, Maestri also employs still-life and portraiture to investigate the conventions of painting, awarding him the prestigious Archibald Prize for portraiture in 2009. Maestri’s love affair with the Australian landscape has taken him across the mainland in search of new vistas to paint, covering areas including the Tanami Desert, Western Volcanic Plains, Mutawintji National Park and Hill End.

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Images: (top) Guido Maestri, artist portrait. Photography by Saskia Wilson. (Right) Guido Maestri, Bibbenluke, 2022. Oil on French polyester, 199 x 152 cm. Images courtesy of the artist and Yavuz Gallery.