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Neil Pardington, The Vault - Art Store 3, at the Auckland Art Fair
Neil Pardington, The Vault - Art Store #3, at the Auckland Art Fair


July 25, 2011

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New Zealand art galleries say they’ve been snubbed by organizers of the upcoming Auckland Art Fair, Aug. 4-7, 2011, which highlights what is called Trans-Tasman contemporary art -- art from Australia and New Zealand, on either side of the Tasman Sea -- at the new Viaducts Events Centre, built on a wharf in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.

Although this year the fair only includes 10 Australian galleries out of 41 total, the ratio still prompted New Zealand art dealer Kieran Smyth of Smyth Galleries, which wasn’t admitted to the event, to complain to the New Zealand Herald that “It’s the one time you would think the Auckland Art Fair would look after its own." He added that the fair is “the most elitist and snobby in the world.”

The fair has a closed admission process, the NZH reports, in which potential participants are screened by an eight-person panel including members of the New Zealand Contemporary Art Trust. Not all galleries are invited to apply, in other words. Several local galleries say they were not even invited while Aussies, meanwhile, are free to “muscle in on Kiwi territory,” NZH claims.

Participating galleries include Jensen Gallery, Gow Langsford Gallery, Michael Lett, Hamish McKay Gallery, David Pestorius Projects, Starkwhite, Two Rooms and Utopian Slumps. The keynote lecture, sponsored by ANZ Private Bank, is an evening with Artforum magazine publisher Knight Landesman.

The fair was founded in 2006. General admission at the door is NZ$25; a booking that includes the Landesman lecture is NZ$45.

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