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Reflecting on the now, Melissa Laing

Towards a History of the Contemporary: Gordon H Brown Lecture 16
Christina Barton
Art History, School of Art History, Classics and Religious Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, $15.00,
ISBN 9771176588005

For the last 16 years, the art history department of Victoria University of Wellington has presented the annual Gordon H Brown Lecture. In the tradition of the discipline, the many eminent scholars of New Zealand art history have looked backwards at what artists have created and why this is historically significant. In some cases, this historicising has been used to reflect on the now – both art as it is practised at this moment, and society as we are shaped by it in the present. Christina Barton’s lecture “Towards a History of the Contemporary” reaches towards this end – an understanding of the contemporary as a cultural state with a specific historical context and trajectory.

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Rethinking the past, Melissa Laing

Re-inventing New Zealand: Essays on the Arts and the Media  Roger Horrocks Atuanui Press, $45.00, ISBN 9780992245382 As I opened a blank document to begin this review, a tweet popped up in my feed from Morgan Godfery: “Sure,” Godfery writes

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Not to be sneezed at, Melissa Laing

Fantastica: The World of Leo Bensemann Peter Simpson Auckland University Press, $75.00, ISBN 978869404710   It has been a prolific few years for New Zealand art history at Auckland University Press, with monographs on Bill Culbert, Marti Friedlander, Len Lye

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Posted in Art, Biography, Non-fiction, Review
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