Julian Dashper solo exhibition Professional Practice, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

Julian Dashper, Untitled (The Painter’s Mistake), 2007 (detail)
Hamish McKay stand, Auckland Art Fair, 2007
Photo: Patrick Pound

July 23 – August 28, 2010

Julian Dashper (1960-2009) once commented that it takes courage to write ‘artist’ as one’s occupation on forms when travelling. It was a statement of encouragement to the generation of students that he taught, but also a statement of his own position.

Over nearly 30 years as an exhibiting artist Dashper built a significant body of work that is one of the most diverse and intriguing of New Zealand’s established contemporary artists. Dashper’s words and work also express a lifelong engagement with New Zealand’s distance from the ‘centres’ of artistic production in Europe and America, and the consequential travel of materials and ideas backwards and forwards. From engagement with the visual references of abstract-expressionist painting in the 1980s to the minimalism of the later works, including sound recordings made in front of important works of art and exhibiting his CV, Dashper developed a rigorous and prolific practice in which the idea of ‘being’ an artist was a significant reference point.

The works selected for this exhibition reflect some of the critical strands to his practice, while also sharing some lesser-known gems. From one of the rarely seen ‘velvet’ paintings of the early 1980s, to his last exhibited video made at the 2007 Venice Biennale, the exhibition seeks to open a conversation between the diverse elements of Dashper’s practice and demonstrate a consistently inquisitive and innovative approach to the idea of art-making and to the beauty of ideas.

PUBLIC EVENTS
Saturday 24 July, 1pm
Exhibition curator Ariane Craig Smith gives a tour of the gallery and discusses her selection of works for Professional Practice. Craig Smith is an independent curator and writer, and is Visual Arts Manager for the 2011 Auckland Festival 2009.

Saturday 31 July, 1pm
Walking tour: Microsites and Dashper’s Auckland
A tour of Microsites: Auckland City’s public art projects in the Learning Quarter, and Julian’s favourite modernist landmarks, led by Linda Tyler, Director, Centre for New Zealand Art Research and Discovery. No charge, gusfishergallery@auckland.ac.nz for bookings.

Saturday 7 August, 1pm
Jim Barr talks of his long association with Julian Dashper as both a collector and collaborator.

Friday 13 August, 7pm
Sound performance: A live performance in the gallery’s Grand Foyer from Dunedin-based Gate and Rachel Shearer. Gate’s first new LP in over a decade, A Republic of Sadness, has just been released on US label Ba Da Bing. $10 entry, no bookings.

Saturday 14 August, 1pm
Artist talk: Artist and musician Michael Morley (Gate/The Dead C) responds to the exhibition with a talk about the use of records in his own practice, his connections to Julian Dashper’s record-making, and relationships between painting and music, image and sound.

Saturday 21 August, 1pm
John Reynolds, Judy Darragh and Ian Jervis, friends and peers of Julian Dashper, pay tribute in a group discussion chaired by exhibition curator Ariane Craig Smith

Saturday 28 August, 1pm
Screening of the Simone Horrocks and Richard Flynn produced documentary, MY SPACE, created with Julian Dashper as an intimate dialogue between the artist and his work. Originally premiered on YouTube in accordance with Dashper’s wishes, it tracks his activities in mid-2008 and runs for 70 minutes. Introduced by Simone Horrocks.

All exhibitions and events are free and take place at the Gus Fisher Gallery unless otherwise noted.