Please join us on Tuesday 24 November from 5-7pm for the
opening of Karl Maughan''s new
exhibition at our Kitchener St Gallery. This suite of works are accented
with sunflowers, harking back to the flora featured in the artist''s early
On this occasion, we are pleased to release
the new limited edition screenprint Rata Road, which Maughan has
worked on over the course of the year. Moreover this year, Gow Langsford
Gallery has worked alongside Auckland University Press to publish a
monograph on the artist. Launching alongside the exhibition, the book
celebrates the artist''s contribution to New Zealand art. An excerpt from
the introduction follows:
"There are no paintings of
gardens in New Zealand quite as familiar as those of Karl Maughan. Since
his first solo exhibition in Wellington in 1987, Maughan''s commitment to
the garden as a framework for painting has been enduring. His practice is
invitational, immersive, and obsessive. He is a constructor of worlds,
compiling and piecing together imagery to create gardens that emanate a
sense of possibility, mystery, and delight.
are not a naturally occurring phenomenon. Instead we might think of them
as second nature: a Sisyphean engagement with the natural world resulting
from human negotiations with plants and soil. Deeply rewarding, gardening
requires effort, care and dedication, providing us with food and medicine
as well as nourishment for our spiritual and aesthetic desires. As a
species we have carved out botanical spaces for millennia, designing them
in our image, according to our tastes. ''It''s universal'', Maughan muses,
''we''ve been fencing off the wild - forests, animals - forever, to have a
space of our own, and not just to keep us safe.
Maughan, the garden has developed into a visual language, grown over the
course of his career and, like any language, borne from close observation.
Maughan collects photographic records of green spaces, from his
neighbours'' back garden to visits to established public gardens in New
Zealand and England. Like a gardener, he takes cuttings of favoured plants
from these photographs, transplanting them to form small collages which
often form the basis for a painting. In doing so, he interferes with
photography''s innate capability to record space as we see it.
There are clear parallels between making gardens and making art.
Both are hands-on creative practices; they require physical labour to
transform raw materials into spaces that frame the natural world. In doing
so, they might both be considered cultural microcosms, reflecting social
concerns and aesthetic values. Maughan''s compositions are differentiated
from the landscape tradition; they are paintings of nature filtered
through culture - cultivated.
In a conversation
during the COVID-19 level 4 restrictions, Maughan told us about the
importance of community for inspiration. Perhaps this is the reason for
his unfaltering popularity. The garden is a ubiquitous presence in our
everyday lives, providing a backdrop for the joyous moments while making
the quotidian memorable. The garden provides us solace and calm in times
of stress. Over the course of this trying year, and confined to the space
of our homes, we have been discussing the heightened importance of our
gardens as a space of reprieve. Once more, the similarities between art
and gardens are clear. Both have the ability to provide respite and offer
hope, to console and delight in equal measure."
Contact us for a list of available works, for
further details on the new limited edition screenprint, or to purchase a
copy of his new publication. Publications are now available for pre-order,
and will be available in-store from the 10 December.