A Who's Who of Australasian Art

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Image: Julian Dashper. Photo Jim Barr, 1993. 

Media Release: October, 2015. 

Julian Dashper & Friends, 5 December 2015 – 25 April 2016 | Free

A new exhibition paying tribute to key contemporary New Zealand artist, Julian Dashper (1960-2009) opens this summer at City Gallery Wellington. Julian Dashper & Friends places Dashper’s work alongside works by his elders, his contemporaries and those who followed to highlight the connections and the conversations between them. It features works by iconic national and international artists, including Rita Angus, Billy Apple, Daniel Buren, Fiona Connor, Colin McCahon, John Nixon, John Reynolds, Imants Tillers and Gordon Walters. 

The exhibition will give viewers a broad understanding of Dashper’s work, his significant influence on New Zealand art and the way we think about it. He is known for making art about art. Some works are homages to celebrated artists, others address the workings of the art world.

“Julian Dashper shaped my thinking about New Zealand art and about the art system. This show is a tribute to an artist who has had a huge influence on me as well as on New Zealand art”, says City Gallery Wellington Chief Curator Robert Leonard.

“This exhibition is a great opportunity to not only think about Julian Dashper, but also to see important works by other major artists. It’s a bit of a ‘who’s who’ of Australasian art,” says Leonard. 

The exhibition features more than 35 works and includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, a video and a giant road sign. Dutch artist Jan van der Ploeg will paint a large-scale mural in his colourful geometric style at City Gallery Wellington for the exhibition from 27 –30 November. Visitors are welcome to watch. 

Dashper studied at Elam Art School in Auckland from 1978-80. He became visible on the New Zealand art scene in the 1980s and began exhibiting internationally in the early 1990s. Today, he represents a transitional figure between the ‘New Zealand painting’ that preceded him and a new generation of contemporary post-nationalist art that followed. He exhibited widely in New Zealand and had a number of solo exhibitions abroad. 

Julian Dashper died of melanoma in 2009. He was just 49. 

Julian Dashper & Friends has been curated by Robert Leonard. Julian Dashper's estate is represented by Michael Lett, Auckland; Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington; and Minus Space, New York.

The exhibition features work by Rita Angus, Billy Apple, Daniel Buren, Fiona Connor, Colin McCahon, Dane Mitchell, Milan Mrkusich, John Nixon, John Reynolds, Peter Robinson, Marie Shannon, Imants Tillers, Peter Tyndall, Jan van der Ploeg and Gordon Walters.

Jan Van Der Ploeg’s visit to New Zealand has been made possible with financial support of the Mondriaan Fund and City Gallery Wellington.