First time fair times

Updated: Jul 28

The biennial Auckland Art Fair is back this month, at The Cloud on Auckland’s Queen’s Wharf.


This year’s showcase of outstanding contemporary art includes galleries and artists from around the world including Japan, Indonesia, the Cook Islands, Chile, China and United States of America, as well as some of our favourites from home and across the ditch. A total of 45 galleries will take part.


Projects 2018, curated by Gabriela Salgado and Francis McWhannell, includes work by 18 emerging and established artists working in Aotearoa. With installation, jewellery, painting, performance, photography, print, sculpture, sound, video and weaving, Projects aims to showcase a broad range of art ‘unburdened by a prescriptive theme or curatorial conceit.’ For the first time Projects includes a number of commissioned works, funded by the art fair partners Lexus and Deadly Ponies, and by Creative NZ.


Grace Wright, My (Crystal) Glass Is Always Half Full, 2018

Sophie Wallace, owner and curator of Hawkes Bay gallery Parlour Projects, (AZ#71) is attending the Fair for the first time, and says she’s excited to immerse herself in the fair amongst gallery representatives, industry professionals and members of the public for the week. ‘Being a regional gallery, it will be a treat to be surrounded by everyone all at once. I'm looking forward to forging relationships with those who I haven't had the opportunity to meet yet,’ says Wallace. New work by Ed Bats, Ben Pearce and Grace Wright will be on show including a selection of Pearce’s new bronze sculptural works in varying dimensions. ‘Ben Pearce's sculptural works investigate systems of communication, particularly the divine or cosmic,’ says Wallace. ‘He uses a jewellers’ dremel to painstakingly carve craters into his brass rods and spheres; in this explorative act of making he draws on materials, memory, imagination and nostalgia.’

Dit (series), Ben Pearce, 2018, brass, 15x15x19mm. Image courtesy of Parlour Projects

Virginia Leonard is making her Auckland Art Fair debut with a solo installation presented by Gisborne’s Paul Nache Gallery (AZ# 68). Leonard’s visceral ceramic work is a response to the broken parts of her body and the chronic pain she suffers as a result of a motorbike crash in the 80s.


The Fair is Arie Hellendoorn’s first outing in Auckland. And in another first, Hellendoorn was the first artist that Director David Alsop picked up when he established Suite Gallery in Wellington in 2007, so they have both grown together into their roles as artist and gallerist. Hellendoorn’s intricate paintings begin as portraits which are then abstracted using patterns and colour.

Hellendoorn Compass, Arie Hellendoorn, 2018, Image courtesy of Suite Gallery

Auckland Art Fair

23–27 May 2018


First published ArtZone #74

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