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Barry Lett (1940 – 2017) had a life as colourful as his artworks. An artist. A gallerist. An environmentalist. An activist. A father. And a friend to many. Barry became a full-time artist around 1975 – becoming well known for his increasingly large-scale sculptural works, in addition to his paintings and drawings. All of the pieces in this small show are delightful portraits – mostly in Barry’s more recent signature ballpoint pen and ink. Many have never been formally exhibited in New Zealand. The dates of these pieces vary enormously, including two from the late 1970’s together with those from 2015/16. Yet even within this timeframe, each portrait manages to exude the timeless joy and whimsical nature of Barry’s practice. They are brilliant examples of his drawing style – and we like to imagine he made them simply to make the viewer (and himself) smile. We’re also excited to have two of the last mid-sized editions of Barry’s ‘Sniffing Dog’ in bronze, cast especially for this show. To counter its banal over-intellectualising and aloof posturing, the art world still needs artists like Barry Lett. Not least to remind us of the power that an artist can give to each and every one of us – to connect to something deeper, to revel in human connection, and sometimes even just to brighten our day.
3 Mar 2020
Rebecca’s painting practice is inspired by the texts of philosophers Julia Kristeva and Bracha Ettinger. She doesn’t merely interpret Kristeva’s ideas of abjection, or Ettinger’s notions of ‘Carriance’ of the other (which forms the title of this show). Instead, Rebecca uses these texts as an intellectual framework – a doorway in, if you like – for exploration.
1 Mar 2020
Cruz Jimenez has come a long way on the New Zealand art scene over the last twenty years. Born in California, Cruz’s first major solo show at The Vivian is a dark, mystical and intimate exploration of a deeply personal journey. Here, he talks about ‘Under the moon I planted’ which is showing at The Vivian until 22 March.
15 Jan 2020
In this Vivian Film - Peter talks about his practice and works currently on show in The Vivian Summer Show. Peter Panyockzki is an artist of international standing - and we’re allways delighted to get the opportunity to show his works at The Vivian.
9 Jan 2020
One of the most colourful characters on the New Zealand art scene – Barry Lett (1940-2017) was a strong supporter of The Vivian. This delightful small show is a treasure box of visual gems.
15 Dec 2019
In this Vivian Film, we talk with internationally renowned, Australian artist, Gregory Pryor on the opening evening of his show at The Vivian 'Dragging Tail'. Gregory is showing at The Vivian for the very first time. This show is a gorgeously textured, deeply mystical journey that explores the collision between the early colonial history of Australia and a landscape and culture that preceded it by tens of thousands of years. The timing for a show like this has never been better. Both deeply moving and magical, please come along to experience it for yourself.
1 Dec 2019
Fitting for someone about to embark on a McCahon residency, the title of this show directly references McCahon’s 1961 painting, ‘Here I give thanks to Mondrian’. In a world where it can sometimes feel everyone is only in it for themselves, Wayne thought it was refreshing to see such an open and honest homage.
19 Oct 2019
In this short film Scott introduces three new shows at The Vivian - Featuring Iain Cheesman, Wayne Youle and Rainer beneke
28 Aug 2019
In this short video, Scott Lawrie talks us through the latest shows at The Vivian. ‘Still No Answer’ in the North Gallery, ‘Higher Thinking’ in the South Gallery and ‘Declarations’ in the Studio Gallery.
19 Aug 2019
In this Vivian Film we talk with Scott Lawrie and Beverly Knight from Alcaston Gallery in Melbourne about the significant and eye-popping work by Sally Gabori which featured on The Vivian stand at this year's Auckland Art Fair.