Artists

Paul Hartigan

Wiggle, 2018, neon on board, 300mm x 300mm x 100mm

Biography

Auckland-based contemporary artist Paul Hartigan is New Zealand’s leading proponent of neon art. He is also one of New Zealand’s most significant makers of public art, widely recognised for his large-scale public light commissions, which have enhanced many of its urban spaces.

His spectacular neon monochrome Colony (2004), commissioned by the University of Auckland for the Faculty of Engineering on Symonds Street, was awarded Best Public Sculpture, Metro Magazine Awards in 2006.

Prior to Colony Hartigan was commissioned by Orion NZ Ltd in 2001 to transform the public face of an electricity substation in central Christchurch. Nebula Orion is the result, a large neon work that survived the earthquake of 2011 and continues to operate today.

Other major public installation include Pathfinder (1997), on the façade of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, Whipping the Wind (1988), located on a prominent corner of Lambton Quay in Wellington, near the Beehive, and Signal-Echo (2001), on the New Lynn Community Centre in West Auckland.

All these works demonstrate an intelligent and responsive engagement with the individual requirements of each site, and the architecture with which they interface. Each of these works is integrated with and extends the environment that hosts it, becoming a vital addition to not only the store of public art in each place, but to the streetscape, to the city’s amenities and its cultural wealth.

These grand installations aptly demonstrate both Hartigan’s adept artistic vision and the flexibility of the neon medium. Though respectful of neon’s history as a signage medium, Hartigan is not restricted by it, and uses this most urban of art media to create conceptually successful, publicly accessible installations that work day and night.

Essay by Don Abbott

 

BIOGRAPHY
 

BORN:1953, New Plymouth

LIVES: Auckland

EDUCATION: Graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts (1973), The University of Auckland

AWARDS/DISTINCTIONS: The Wallace Art Awards – Finalist (2014, 2005); Norsewear Art Awards – Finalist (2006); Iris Fisher Art Awards – Finalist (2005); Sarjeant Gallery Art Awards – Finalist (1990)

COLLECTIONS: Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington; The Chartwell Trust, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, Sarjeant Gallery Whanganui, Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, The Collection of the University of Auckland, GOMA Queensland, Te Manawa, Palmerston North, The James Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland.

SELECTED PUBLIC EXHIBITIONS: Antipodean emanations: cameraless photographs from Australia and New Zealand, Monash Gallery of Art, Victoria, Australia (2018); VIVID Paul Hartigan Retrospective, The Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland (2015); Medal Artists of New Zealand: Regroup, Reflect, Regenerate, The James Wallace Arts Trust, Pah Homestead, Auckland (2015); Silver Sky: neon eye, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Auckland (2015); Toi Aotearoa, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland (2013); Revolutionary, Waikato Museum Te Whare Toanga O Waikato, Hamilton (2012); Electric Glass, The James Wallace Arts Trust, Pah Homestead, Auckland (2012); Powerflowers, Bledisloe Walkway Light Boxes, Auckland (2012); Singular Companions, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (2012); NZ Sculpture OnShore, Fort Takapuna, Auckland (2012); Game On, Hastings City Art Gallery, Hawkes Bay (2011); Presence, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (2011); NZ Pop, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (2010); Mille-fleurs, The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi O Whakatu, Nelson (2010); Are You Right Not To Like Modern Art?, Te Manawa, Palmerston North (2009); Art-Speak: Works from the Art Collection, The Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland (2008); Pathfinders: Collection Focus, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (2007); Viewfinder, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (2006); Return of the Hand, Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare O Rehua, Wanganui (2006); Lights, Camera, Action: Critical Moments from the Govett-Brewster Collections 1969-2004, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (2004); Alphabetica, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu, Christchurch (2004); The Cartoon Show Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland (2001); Diversions, The Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland (2000); Contemporary Art from the Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland (2000); Collectors Choice, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington (2000); Hybrid, Te Manawa, Palmerston North (2000); Andy and Friends, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland (1999); Good Dreams, Bad Dreams, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (1999); Leap of Faith, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (1998); Glow in the Dark, Te Manawa, Palmerston North (1996); NZ Light, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (1995); 75 of the Best, Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare O Rehua, Wanganui (1994); New Zealand Art Scene, Te Manawa, Palmerston North (1994); Artist’s Showcase, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (1993); Contemporary Update, Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare O Rehua, Wanganui (1992); Works from the Permanent Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland (1991); Public Art – Bonus Art, City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi, Wellington (1988); Drawing Analogies, City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi, Wellington (1988); New Image, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland (1983); Pacific Glass, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (1983); Directions in New Zealand Printmaking, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (1980); Making an Impression, The Dowse Art Gallery, Lower Hutt (1979); International Biennial Exhibition of Prints, Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan (1979); Little Works, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland (1978); Biennial of Graphic Art, Moderna Galerija, Ljubjana, Yugoslavia (1977); New Zealand Prints, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland (1977); 39 Drawings by Eight Artists, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland (1977); New Zealand Drawing, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland (1976); Project 7, Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, Auckland (1975); Taranaki Review, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth (1970)

PUBLIC COMMISSSIONS:Colony, University of Auckland Faculty of Engineering foyer, 22B Symonds Street, Auckland (2004); Nebula Orion, exterior façade of Orion substation, 210 Armagh Street, Christchurch (2001); Signal-Echo, exterior façade of New Lynn Community Centre, 45 Totara Avenue, New Lynn, Auckland (2001); Pathfinder, exterior façade of gallery extension, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, 42 Queen Street, New Plymouth (1997); Whipping the Wind, Sybase House, 101 Lambton Quay, Wellington (1988)

 

 

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