• Kate Newby & Paul P.

Michael Lett presents As long as you want, an exhibition of painting, print, and sculpture from Kate Newby (Aotearoa New Zealand/USA) and Paul P. (Canada).

Newby and P. create works that share a quality of mediated enquiry and curiosity—an indexical relationship to subjects and environments that favour the ineffability of traces over the didacticism of strict representation. Like asymptotic curves, both artists generate an intense proximity that never quite collides with their subjects, leaving us with objects that carry marks made in the wakes of history.

Bringing together two currents of her recent work, Kate Newby’s etchings and ceramics trace impressions of people and place across time. Handmade ceramic tiles using terracotta drainage pipes as an armature, are structured in vertical lines that cut through the gallery. Crafted in her childhood home at Te Henga (Bethells Beach), the tiles bear the textures and indentations of that place—her brother’s wooden benchtops, her mother’s gardening shed, the concrete floors of a space used as both a workshop and pottery studio at different times. The clay tiles, mixed with sand from Lake Wainamu, were wood and gas-fired over twelve months. In their pilaster-like arrangements, the works index the material, social, cultural, and familial sediments of a site and its inhabitants.

The etchings which accompany Newby’s sculptures follow a process first developed while the artist was on residence in Marfa and San Antonio in 2017. Copper etching plates are laid outside and surrounded with bird seed—any subsequent markings (or lack thereof) are then outside of the artist’s control. Like many of Newby’s works, the etchings are products of an environment as much as they are commentaries about one; the material remnants of an unwitting collaboration between a network of human and non-human actors. “Time itself, not the idea of it, brings these art pieces from a non- state to a presence”.1 The prints in As long as you want were produced from plates placed in coastal locations: Te Henga, Kaiwaka, and Puawai Bay.

Paul P. is a Canadian painter whose intimate canvases draw oblique lines towards and away from a corporeal queer sensuality. His portraits are cropped from gay erotic magazines produced in the period between the advent of gay liberation and the surfacing of the AIDS crisis. Pulled from this slade between two radically different eras of gay visibility, P.’s subjects are rendered with a symbolist’s mix of fantasy and fidelity that suffuses each face with the melancholy and apprehension of axial stasis—figures caught between danger and desire. The portraits are joined by architectural extractions, landscapes, and monochromes that further produce an askance vision of a historical place.

Newby and P. first met in 2016, and have operated in overlapping artistic networks, both spending time as artist-in-residence at Fogo Island Arts and holding exhibitions at Lulu in Mexico City. As long as you want is the second joint presentation of Newby and P.’s work, following a showing at the 2018 Independent art fair, New York.

Kate Newby was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1979. She has shown internationally at galleries and museums including Feuillton, Los Angeles (2020); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2019); The Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne (2019); Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen (2018); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2018); 21st Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (2018); SculptureCenter, New York (2017); Index - The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm (2017); Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland (2015); Marianne Boesky, New York (2015); Lulu, Mexico City (2014); Arnolfini, Bristol (2014) and Fogo Island Gallery, Newfoundland (2013), among others. In 2019 Kate was a recipient of The Joan Mitchell Foundation - 2019 Painters & Sculptors Grant.

Paul P. was born in Canada in 1977. He was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, New York and the 2018 Front International Cleveland Triennial. He has participated in numerous international exhibitions including Morena di Luna, Hove UK (2020): Queer Thoughts, New York (2019); Lulu, Mexico City, Mexico (2019); Cooper Cole, Toronto (2017); Scrap Metal, Toronto (2017); Participant Inc., New York (2017); Griffin Art Projects, Vancouver (2017); Maureen Paley, Hove (2016); Broadway 1602, New York (2014); The Suburban, Oak Park (2013); Freud Museum, London (2011); Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Valencia (2010); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2009); Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria (2009); and the Power Plant, Toronto (2007), among others.

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  • Corner East Street and Karangahape Road
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