A world undone

A world undone – Works from the Chartwell Collection

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand

Dates: Exhibition is open on Saturday 8 November 2014 to 5 April 2015, Level 2 Chartwell Gallery.

A world undone - Works from the Chartwell Collection, installation view

Image: Installation view, image courtesy of Auckland Art Gallery.

A Challenge!

Gestures, chance, materials, space, senses, vision, thought, making ... all words used to describe something essentially non-verbal – a conundrum for sure that challenges our ability to interpret visual abstract information but one that Chartwell investigates through its collection of contemporary art works. As viewers, we perceive, access and respond to artist’s ideas – the challenge is to take those ideas and run with them, explore them further, test them, unravel them, embrace them, echo them, and answer them with ideas of our own.

Welcome to A world undone – Works from the Chartwell Collection, curated by Stephen Cleland. Chartwell strongly supports the view that creative visual thinking, within the art-making and viewing experience, delivers opportunities for everyone to grow their imagining minds. The Collection is on long-term loan to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, because we know the Gallery to be a ‘gymnasium for the mind’ available to all who visit.

Chartwell sees the Collection as a tool with which to stimulate new ideas, opening the mind and expanding the ideation functions of the brain. Each of us has the capacity for inventive, productive thought within the art experience: a skill transferable to all activities in life, which in the process helps grow innovative and successful communities.

The works in A world undone are a sample from the Collection which comprises 1,481 works to date and is growing. The exhibition provides an opportunity to perceive the Collection as a work in progress – itself an investigation into the significance of non-verbal ideation.

In recent times, the impressive development of research-based enquiry done by the Creative Thinking Project at The University of Auckland is reinforcing our interest in the vast potential of the human creative process across all disciplines. We see A world undone as revealing a world open to the mysteries of this kind of expansive, creative thought. Through recent international acquisitions, this world is explored even more in the Collection, enabling an extended understanding of the interconnectedness and mobility of artists’ practices globally and of the value of collaborative creativity.

A world undone – Works from the Chartwell Collection includes sculpture, painting, prints, installation and video works from 26 artists and demonstrates the wide range of art practices today. It includes works by Hany Armanious, John Baldessari, Andrew Barber, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Martin Creed, Daniel Crooks, Richard Frater, Gavin Hipkins, Nicholas Mangan, Dane Mitchell, Robert Rauschenberg, Peter Robinson, Jessica Stockholder, Richard Tuttle, Rohan Wealleans and others.

We acknowledge Stephen Cleland and Zara Stanhope, and the Auckland Art Gallery team for their work in realising this exhibition.

We invite you to join us in A world undone and to consider the potential benefits of active, engaged viewing of these works and the unique benefits they offer. The gallery team along with associated designers and writers, have produced a catalogue which will be launched on and available from 28 November 2014.

Video/Audio artist interviews »
We've made a series of short video and audio interviews with artists in the exhibition.

Further Reading

Exhibition publication excerpt by Rebecca Ward »
Excerpt from the exhibition publication - Chartwell/Artists Alliance Intern Rebecca Ward was commissioned by the Auckland Art Gallery publication team, in association with Associate Professor Linda Tyler of the University of Auckland, to write about some of the works in the show.

Notes on Daniel Crooks' An Embroidery of Voids »
The result of a conversation between Chartwell Trustee Rob Gardiner and Chartwell/Artists Alliance Intern Rebecca Ward.

Art, Mediation and Contemporary Art Emergent practices »
Essay by Associate Pro-Warden Janis Jefferies, Professor of Visual Arts, Goldsmiths Digital Studios, Computing, who presented a relevant paper around this topic at the 2013 ICEA Conference in Australia.

Amy Howden-Chapman - Lovers Between Glass

Amy Howden-Chapman - Lovers Between Glass

Amy Howden-Chapman (born 1984, Wellington NZ) currently lives and works in Los Angles, USA. She holds a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts as well as a Masters degree in creative writing, and an Honors degree in Art History, from Victoria University Wellington.

Working primarily in performance, instillation and video Howden-Chapman’s work uses language, movement and site-specificity to investigate moments of cultural and political change.Taking a poetic rather than documentary approach to her subject matter Howden-Chapman’s work depicts the confluence of social conventions and personal narratives that underlie economic, ecological and cultural upheaval.

Howden-Chapman has exhibited extensively in New Zealand, the United States and Europe. Most recently her work has been presented at Night Gallery, Los Angeles, Auckland City Art Gallery, and City Gallery Wellington. Major commissions include The Flood my Chanting,’ A One Day Sculpture Project. In 2013 her curatorial & publishing endeavor ‘The Distance Plan,’ launched its first journal, a publication that addresses the intersection between art & climate change.  In 2014 Howden-Chapman will complete the McCahon Residency.

Lovers Between Glass, is a work specifically created for the Stark White Lover's show. Like previous banner works these two cupeled abstract forms oscillate in the associations they conjure up between the celebratory and the slightly sinister.

The banner works consider the way in which power is preformed through political culture. Rather than presenting forms that can be easily identified with an existing organization or figure, the forms hint at the formal repertoire - shape, colour, scale, that are so often used in the service of promoting specific ideological interests. The banner works illustrate modes by which political messages are given and received.

Often used in a performative context, the works are presented at Starkwhite between two large sheets of the glass. This mode of display speaks to a museum like preservation rather than a traditional frame. The material of the objects are protected, but the banners use value - in protest, in argument, in celebration, still remains a possibility.

Back to Gallery Overview »

Amy Howden-Chapman - Lovers Between Glass

Amy Howden-Chapman - Lovers Between Glass

Amy Howden-Chapman (born 1984, Wellington NZ) currently lives and works in Los Angles, USA. She holds a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts as well as a Masters degree in creative writing, and an Honors degree in Art History, from Victoria University Wellington.

Working primarily in performance, instillation and video Howden-Chapman’s work uses language, movement and site-specificity to investigate moments of cultural and political change.Taking a poetic rather than documentary approach to her subject matter Howden-Chapman’s work depicts the confluence of social conventions and personal narratives that underlie economic, ecological and cultural upheaval.

Howden-Chapman has exhibited extensively in New Zealand, the United States and Europe. Most recently her work has been presented at Night Gallery, Los Angeles, Auckland City Art Gallery, and City Gallery Wellington. Major commissions include The Flood my Chanting,’ A One Day Sculpture Project. In 2013 her curatorial & publishing endeavor ‘The Distance Plan,’ launched its first journal, a publication that addresses the intersection between art & climate change.  In 2014 Howden-Chapman will complete the McCahon Residency.

Lovers Between Glass, is a work specifically created for the Stark White Lover's show. Like previous banner works these two cupeled abstract forms oscillate in the associations they conjure up between the celebratory and the slightly sinister.

The banner works consider the way in which power is preformed through political culture. Rather than presenting forms that can be easily identified with an existing organization or figure, the forms hint at the formal repertoire - shape, colour, scale, that are so often used in the service of promoting specific ideological interests. The banner works illustrate modes by which political messages are given and received.

Often used in a performative context, the works are presented at Starkwhite between two large sheets of the glass. This mode of display speaks to a museum like preservation rather than a traditional frame. The material of the objects are protected, but the banners use value - in protest, in argument, in celebration, still remains a possibility.

Back to Gallery Overview »