<em>Tom Kreisler</em> 2007. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (installation view)

Tom Kreisler 2007. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (installation view)


3 Mar — 13 May 2007

Tom Kreisler

The exhibition presents a significant reconsideration of the work of Tom Kreisler (1938 – 2002) and his impact on fellow artists, writers and critical thinkers across Aotearoa New Zealand’s cultural communities.

This is the first major survey of this influential New Zealand artist’s work in almost two decades.

Curated by Aaron Kreisler

Tom Kreisler features more than 40 large-scale paintings, altered readymades, works on found materials, drawings and notebooks from both national and international collections. Showcasing a number of works for the first time this major survey also traces important thematic and conceptual concerns and provides an in-depth look at Kreisler and his 35-year career.

Curated by Aaron Kreisler, Tom’s youngest son, this exhibition exposes the layers of meaning in this artist’s work, paying attention to his meditation on the intricate relationship between humour and tragedy. Particular emphasis and interest has been placed on this artist’s late ‘scrap’ text works that toy with the language, pretensions and ceremonies of art.

Argentinean-born Kreisler was sent to New Zealand to live with relatives as a teenager, where what was originally intended to be a brief stint ended up being a lifelong visit. This geographical, cultural and psychological displacement would shape the artist’s vision for the next fifty years.

Preoccupied by the big themes in life – love, death, danger and happiness – Kreisler also had a tremendous, often pointed, sense of humour that audiences are sure to appreciate. Having died in 2002, Tom Kreisler has left a legacy of work considered by a number of New Zealand’s foremost art commentators to be amongst the most significant bodies of painting produced in New Zealand over the past 30 years.

The exhibition will also be accompanied by the release of a major new book, Comma dot dogma that includes texts by Deborah Cain, Wystan Curnow, John Hurrell and Aaron Kreisler. This 196p monograph promises to be a lush production making a number of Kreisler’s works available in print for the first time. Comma dot dogma not only brings together a series of critical insights into this artists legacy it also offers an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the scope and depth of this artists vision.