Regan Gentry to relaunch Hirschfeld Gallery


Media Release: September, 2009. 

Brand new gallery space for Wellington artists part of new-look City Gallery Wellington

A major new work by Wellington artist Regan Gentry will reopen the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery at City Gallery Wellington on September 27 and run until November 22. Make Way is an ambitious sculptural work that takes the form of a highway bypass or flyover made entirely from cane basketwork. The Michael Hirschfeld Gallery will be one of three striking new exhibition spaces at City Gallery Wellington, which has been closed for 11 months for a major building development. After nine years in a former bar space, this is the first time the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery, which is dedicated to the exhibition of work by Wellington artists and designers, will have a custom-designed, permanent gallery.

The new Michael Hirschfeld Gallery was made possible by the ongoing generosity and support of the Hirschfeld family and is designed by award-winning architect, Stuart Gardyne of Architecture+. Gardyne is no stranger to City Gallery, in 1992/93, he converted the old Wellington public library into a contemporary art gallery for City Gallery, earning an NZ Institute of Architects National Award.

As visitors enter the first exhibition in the new Michael Hirschfeld Gallery, they will encounter an arching three dimensional highway spanning the entire 12metre-long gallery. Make Way draws on topical local concerns around the proposed Basin Reserve flyover and more broadly on contemporary discussions about urban planning and ecological harm. The work continues Regan’s ongoing interest with materiality and construction. The structure will be predominantly self-supporting, through pillars bolted to the gallery floor, and visitors will be encouraged to walk beneath and around it, its complex nature inviting close examination. Make Way will provide an interesting counterpoint to Yayoi Kusama: The Mirrored Years exhibition, taking place in the main galleries until February 10, 2010. The artists share a fascination with the immersive potential of gallery spaces, Kusama’s enveloping environments creating a unique contrast to Regan’s monumental architectural works.

Regan Gentry currently lives in Mt Victoria, Wellington, but in late August will be departing for Rotterdam. Regan completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Otago Polytechnic in 2004 and in the same year he began Foot in the Door at the Adam Art Gallery, an ongoing and now well-known project installing a one-foot ruler into the front door of listed galleries (this will also be a component in the Hirschfeld Gallery exhibition). Since then he has continued to exhibit widely, with recent shows including Islanded: Contemporary Art from New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan (2006, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington, I.C.A. Singapore), Super Natural (2006, Physics Room, Christchurch); Some Kind of Fact, Some Kind of Fiction, (2007, Engine Room, Wanganui); Of Gorse of Course (2007, NewDowse, Wellington) and Near Nowhere, Near Impossible (2008, Sarjeant Gallery).

Public works include: Skeleton Trees (2006, Connells Bay Sculpture Park, Waiheke Island); Indoor / Outdoor Flow (2006, Brick Bay Sculpture Park. Matakana); Green Islands (2007, Museum of New Zealand; Te Papa Tongarewa forecourt, Wellington); Flour Power (2008, Stewart Plaza, Christchurch) and Recliner Rex (2009, Central Otago, Rippon), with forthcoming projects Subject to Change (Karo Drive, Wellington) commissioned by the Wellington Sculpture Trust, in addition to Try This at Home, a solo show at Whitespace, Auckland. Regan has held residencies at the William Hodges Fellowship, Invercargill in 2005 and the Tylee Cottage Residency, Wanganui in 2008.

Make Way: Regan Gentry

September 27 - November 22 2009

Hirschfeld Gallery, City Gallery Wellington

Make Way is generously supported by Creative New Zealand