ARTSPACE - Silver anniversary — 06.03.12

ARTSPACE celebrates its silver anniversary and 25 years of developing and supporting contemporary art in New Zealand.

ARTSPACE (Award for Patronage donation recipient) presents every cloud has a silver lining an exhibition to mark its silver anniversary and 25 years of developing and supporting contemporary art in New Zealand. Every cloud has a silver lining will present archival material as well as re-purpose elements of key exhibitions at Artspace. It will celebrate the many artists, curators, art critics and writers that helped shape the organisation into the major force in contemporary art that it is today and also challenge others to ensure that it remains so.

16 March - 5 April at ARTSPACE, Level 1, 300 Karangahape Road, Auckland

From the outset Artspace was going to be something different, its three founders: Mary-Louise Browne, Wystan Curnow and Sandi Morrison recognised the need for an alternative space, somewhere that would exhibit contemporary art unlikely to be accommodated in the other, more conservative art galleries that were operating in Auckland at that time. As Wystan Curnow puts it: "Artists here working in installation, photography, film and video and performance art were being shut out. These things made me angry".

Artspace was formed in 1987, it has since had four different venues, moving from Federal Street to Quay Street via the George Fraser Gallery in Princes Street, ending up in Karangahape Road, and has been led by eight directors: Mary-Louise Browne, Priscilla Pitts, Lara Bowen, Robert Leonard, Tobias Berger, Brian Butler, Emma Bugden and Caterina Riva, each of whom offered a passionate perspective on contemporary art and its shifting conditions.

"The art scene has certainly changed in twenty-five years, Artspace has also changed, renegotiating its place, adjusting the terms of its relationship. The scene has grown much larger, more complex, and more global. It is true that other galleries and organisations have added their voices or staked prior claims to Artspace's critical role, from within both the public and private sectors, leaving it less room in which to move. However, Artspace's mandate, structure and history remain unique, and continue to afford it opportunities for interventions on the art scene that make a difference" states Curnow.