Thursday, July 03, 2008

Jennifer Hay with Lawrence Aberhart, Chris Knox & Ron Brownson
Christchurch Art Gallery - $79.95

The second of the three shortlisted titles in the illustrative section of the Montana NZ Book Awards to be reviewed here following the review of ABERHART last week.

In her foreword the talented and personable Director of the Christchurch Art Gallery, Jenny Harper, writes:
Humorous, anarchic, subversive, ironic – Bill Hammond is an original. From his busy paintings of the 1980’s, intensely crammed with seemingly disparate images and references and set within multiple perspectives, through to his pivotal Buller series of the 1990’s, and on to the luminous, masterly paintings of this decade, seldom has New Zealand produced an artist with such a unique pictorial language.

Let me say straight off that this publication is a superb example of employment of the highest design and production values. It is simply a beautiful thing to hold, view and read. And in a stroke of genius the publishers have provided a dust jacket on good quality art paper that opens out to become a print of the title piece of art, Hammond’s stunning 2006 Jingle Jangle Morning. What a bonus.

The exhibition, with the same name and for which this book acts as a catalogue, was curated by Jennifer Hay and her long, (it runs to 26 pages, but not a word is wasted), thoughtful, interesting and illustrated introduction is likely to become a definitive statement on the work of Bill Hammond for future scholars.
Also included are essays by artist photographer Laurence Aberhart, musical historian Chris Knox, and senior curator at Auckland Art Gallery Ron Brownson.

My congratulations to all concerned on a fine piece of publishing.
I am proud to have this book on my bookshelf.

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