Michael Parekowhai to show at Paris's renowned musée du quai Branly. — 01.09.11

Laureate Michael Parekowhai will show his 2011 Venice Biennale exhibition ‘On first looking into Chapman's Homer ‘at Paris's renowned musée du quai Branly.

Creative New Zealand and Christchurch Art Gallery director Jenny Harper are pleased to announce that Michael Parekowhai will show his 2011 Venice Biennale exhibition On first looking into Chapman's Homer at Paris's renowned musée du quai Branly.

Michael Parekowhai's exhibition will travel to Paris at the conclusion of the Venice project in October with three works being showcased at the museum. The two bronze grand pianos, each supporting a cast bronze bull, A Peak in Darien and Chapman's Homer will be installed in early November 2011 in the grounds of the museum beside rue de l'Université, a key route for pedestrians visiting the nearby Eiffel Tower. Te Papa's E Tu Ake will still be on at this time and connections may be made with this exhibition of New Zealand work. In February 2012 the carved Steinway, He Korero Purakau mo Te Awanui o Te Motu: Story of a New Zealand River will be positioned in the entrance foyer of the museum with a series of recitals planned.

"Follow-on invitations are a significant way for the value of the Venice Biennale project to be registered and they also demonstrate the level of respect shown to our artists who are selected to show there. We welcome this opportunity to extend Parekowhai's major presentation in Europe and Christchurch Art Gallery is pleased to be assisting the artist and his team to show his Venice work in a different context in another key European cultural hub," says Jenny Harper.

Creative New Zealand Arts Council Chair, Alastair Carruthers is delighted that the artist has received this invitation. "The Venice Biennale continues to provide New Zealand artists with the chance to present work at the highest level overseas. This remarkable exhibition deserves a wider audience and Michael Parekowhai should be congratulated on its success."

The exhibition will return to New Zealand mid next year at Christchurch Art Gallery. "It will be exciting to welcome this key work back home a year after it opened in Venice, keeping the Biennale heartbeat strong at home as well as overseas," says Jenny Harper.

The continued success of Michael Parekowhai's exhibition in Venice follows it being picked by The Independent as one of the winners of this year's biennale. A number of influential journalists visited the exhibition during the Vernissage from The Art Newspaper, ArtAsiaPacific, The Guardian, Art Review, Frieze, Tate and Royal Academy Magazine alongside representatives from New York's Museum of Modern Art, London's Saatchi and Hayward Galleries, as well as from public art galleries in Canada, San Francisco and Australia.

To date a daily average of 300 people visit the New Zealand exhibition, consistently rating it ‘excellent' with many commenting on the variety of music performed on the carved piano, their identification with the carvings and the magnificence of the large-scale sculptures.

Image:   Michael Parekowhai's Chapman's Homer 2011,  courtesy the artist and Michael Lett