Marcel Duchamp, Boîte-en-valise Series D, Paris, 1961
Collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Bequest of Judge Julius Isaacs
July 27-October 7, 2012
Peripheral Relations: Marcel Duchamp and New Zealand Art 1960-2011 is a major exhibition organised by the Adam Art Gallery. Drawing on the PhD research of Marcus Moore, guest curator of the exhibition, it explores the influence of Marcel Duchamp on New Zealand art, canvassing the history of Duchamp’s reception in New Zealand from 1960 to the present. It showcases seldom-seen works by Duchamp held at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, to document the little-known gift of his works as part of the Isaacs Bequest (1982), as well as referencing the ground-breaking exhibition of the Sisler Collection of Duchamp’s works that toured New Zealand in 1967.
These actual instances of Duchamp ‘in’ New Zealand are set alongside three generations of New Zealand artists who register a debt to his example. The show brings together works by 29 artists: Jim Allen, Billy Apple, Bruce Barber, g. bridle, L. Budd, Bill Culbert, Paul Cullen, Julian Dashper, Andrew Drummond, et al, Merit Gröting, Adrian Hall, Terrence Handscomb, Christine Hellyar, Giovanni Intra, Betty Isaacs, Julius Isaacs, Darcy Lange, Maddie Leach, Len Lye, Kieran Lyons, Daniel Malone, Julia Morison, Michael Parekowhai, Roger Peters, Malcolm Ross, Marie Shannon, Michael Stevenson, and Boyd Webb. It also presents ephemeral and archival material relevant to the subject. The exhibition is accompanied by a public programme that draws out a range of themes inherent in the topic, and a checklist with notes on each artist and introduction by Marcus Moore.
Marcus Moore’s approach, which is evident in the selection and layout of the exhibition, is to explore how Duchamp’s legacy can be read from a New Zealand perspective. Playing on the fact of our peripheral location, the show considers how key works by Duchamp have been examined, referenced, quoted and adapted according to the changing concerns of artists, from their initial reception of Duchamp in the 1960s through to the present. While Duchamp’s notion of the ‘readymade’ plays a crucial role in the exhibition, other key works: the Large Glass and the Bôite en Valise in particular, are explored for the ways in which they inform local practice.