Hamish McKay is pleased to present Gavin Hipkins’ fifteenth solo exhibition with the gallery. In his new series Block Paintings, the artist photographs in close-up hand-painted wooden toy blocks. Taking on the status of abstract paintings, the carefully assembled objects are greatly enlarged to reveal brush strokes, paint drips and beautiful imperfections on the painted surfaces.
“Sitting between sculpture, painting, and photography, I like to think of these new works as ‘kinder monuments’ — a reference to their ambiguous scale, and the occupation of the field plane by massively enlarged brutalist wooden blocks,” says Hipkins. “The toy blocks are photographed on my studio table under natural lighting conditions. This treatment of isolated objects recalls tabletop still life traditions, as well as product photography used for advertising commodities. Yet by photographing the arrangements under natural light conditions, rather than the clinical lighting of the photographic studio, there is a clear painterly treatment.”
Gavin Hipkins is an Auckland-based artist who works with photography and moving image.
He has exhibited widely, and recent group exhibitions include: International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2015); The Jewish Museum, New York, USA (2015); Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York, USA (2014); and Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Germany (2013). His work is included in major public and private collections including the Queensland Art Gallery, the Auckland Art Gallery, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, and George Eastman Museum of Photography and Film, New York.
Press release courtesy Hamish McKay.