Major Aberhart Exhibition At City Gallery

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Media Release: May, 2007. 

Laurence Aberhart has been at the forefront of New Zealand photography since the late 1970s, and is increasingly recognised as a major international figure. On 12 May 2007 City Gallery Wellington opens Laurence Aberhart, a landmark exhibition in New Zealand photography. “Over 200 iconic photographs will be displayed in the most comprehensive overview of Laurence Aberhart’s work to date,” City Gallery Wellington director Paula Savage says.

City Gallery Wellington senior curator Gregory O'Brien, working closely with the photographer and Justin Paton (from Dunedin Public Art Gallery), has brought together fourteen thematic clusters of work, which together form a sustained meditation on knowledge, history, faith and culture.

Aberhart’s photographs of church interiors, marae, monuments and Masonic Lodges are not only an essential part of the nation’s visual art; they offer a journey through the heart and soul of New Zealand. His subjects appear illuminated from within. “Aberhart’s images are bathed in the light of photographic history, as well as that of the world around. In his exquisite prints, photography reclaims a magic often lost in the digital age,” curator Gregory O'Brien says.

Laurence Aberhart is part of City Gallery’s winter season, which also includes solo exhibitions by Finnish video artist Salla Tykkä and Australian artist Hany Armanious. This preeminent retrospective is accompanied by ABERHART, a lavish, definitive book from Victoria University Press, with 235 full-page reproductions. It will later tour throughout New Zealand.