John Panting / Peter Robinson / State of the art

John Panting: Spatial Constructions
Curated by Sam Cornish

New-Zealand-born, London-based sculptor John Panting’s career was tragically cut short when he was killed at the age of 34 in a motorbike accident in 1974. This exhibition brought together a group of late works held in New Zealand collections, which have not been seen together since they were included in the posthumous retrospective organised by the Serpentine Gallery in London that toured New Zealand in 1975-76. Following on from his training at the Royal College of Art in London (1964-67), Panting’s career has been described as a ‘whirlwind’ progress through various formal and material moves. The works in this exhibition were all made between 1972 and 1974. They are pared back, open-form spatial constructions in steel. They show Panting attempting to reconcile the differences between constructivism and late modernist sculpture, the contradictions resulting in a burst of energy at a time when the modernist consensus was in crisis.

Panting’s work is enjoying renewed attention in Britain; his archive and examples of his work have recently been acquired by Tate Britain and the Henry Moore Institute, and a monograph by Sam Cornish has been published by Sansom & Company, Poussin Gallery, and abstractcritical, London. This exhibition was designed to reacquaint New Zealand audiences with his practice. It was developed in conjunction with Peter Robinson: Cuts and Junctures to enable correspondences between the two artists to be explored.

A fully illustrated catalogue documenting this exhibition is available at the Adam Art Gallery or via the website here.

The Estate of John Panting is represented by Poussin Gallery London. This exhibition was generously funded by a grant from Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.

Download the catalogue essay by Sam Cornish here.

Peter Robinson: Cuts and Junctures

Peter Robinson is one of New Zealand’s leading artists. Since 2006 he has been exploring a history of modernist sculpture, reworking its forms and manoeuvres in unlikely materials such as polystyrene, felt, Perspex, and piano wire. Robinson’s sculptural investigations ransack recent art history, referencing artists as various as Andre Cadere, Franz Erhard Walther, Eva Hesse, and John Panting, but they also inject suggestive cultural and narrative content to disrupt modernism’s autonomy and its universalist claims. His new work was commissioned to coincide with John Panting: Spatial Constructions and was especially conceived for the Adam Art Gallery’s spaces.

Peter Robinson is represented by Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington and Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland. This exhibition is generously funded by a grant from Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.

State of the art: reproductive prints from the Renaissance to now
Curated by David Maskill with his Honours Students

Almost from the invention of printmaking in Renaissance Europe, artists, printmakers, and publishers have recognised the revolutionary potential of the technology to copy and widely disseminate works of art. This exhibition explored a history of reproductive prints and their ever-more sophisticated imitation of the pictorial qualities of paintings and drawings. Curated by David Maskill with his Art History Honours students, it showcased reproductive prints from the sixteenth century through to the present day, to examine the changing motives, markets, technologies, and audiences for such work.

The exhibition was accompanied by an illustrated catalogue featuring essays by each student that elaborate on the exhibition. This is still available for purchase at the Adam Art Gallery or via the website here.

This exhibition was generously supported by Photography by Woolf.

For a list of the full public programme click here.