• Robbie Fraser
  • Gretchen Albrecht
  • Tira Walsh
  • Peata Larkin
Two Rooms Aotearoa Art Fair

Robbie Fraser
Robbie Fraser's practice is about colour, shape and harmony – not the articulation of untroublesome relationships, but an exploration of what happens when these relations miss the mark – get difficult. It insists on stopping short of expectation, maintains on slipping from propriety – not as a declaration of messing things up, but more as a probing of boundaries and a critical examination of rectitude itself. It draws up close to fine tuned beauty, but at the last moments shies away from the anesthetic affect of complacent aesthetics, and turns toward the more enlivening sensation of discomfort.

Robbie Fraser (Ngati Porou ki Harataunga), b.1979, works and resides in Auckland, New Zealand. He graduated from AUT University with a Masters in Art & Design (First Class Honours) in 2013 and was a founding member of FERARI, an ex-artist run space based in Auckland. His recent shows include A Fridge Full Of Condiments (2014) at RM, Puttanesca Park (2015) at Corbans Estate Art Centre and A Standard of Measurement (2016) with Hugo Lindsay at Papakura Art Gallery.

Gretchen Albrecht
Gretchen Albrecht is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s preeminent abstract painters, receiving wide renown as a consummate colourist. Albrecht’s paintings combine formal, historical and ephemeral qualities with a sensuous colour palette and the staining of her canvas’s act as a generous counterpoint for rhythmic patterns of architectural form, gestural movement and scale.

Albrecht has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and internationally for over five decades. Her work is held in major New Zealand and Australian public collections including the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, The University of Auckland and Victoria University. She is the subject of several major publications, most recently, her monograph. Between gesture and geometry (Massey University Press, Auckland, 2019).

Tira Walsh
Tira Walsh is one of the most exciting painters to emerge from Auckland’s art schools in recent years. Recoding images and stray residues through the framework of the canvas, painter Walsh courts experiential incoherence as one of her primary materials. Drawing on the affective space of film, special effects and her everyday experiences of the urban environment, Walsh treats each canvas as a ‘repository of negotiation’. Walsh has begun to accrue a notable exhibition history since graduating with a Master of Creative Practice from Unitec in 2018. Recent group exhibitions include Never An Answer, 12 Abstract Painters, The Vivian, Matakana, curated by Linda Tyler and Lucinda Bennett (2018); Drawcard, State Gallery, Mt Eden, Auckland (2018); My Hands are Visibly Soiled, Snowwhite Gallery, Unitec, Auckland (2018); Roundhouse, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, Auckland (2017-2018). In 2019 she was the Kaipara award winner at the Wallace Art Awards.

Peata Larkin
At the heart of Larkin’s practice is the use of paint in a way that exploits its physical properties in order to illustrate the artist’s chosen concepts. According to a set pattern, paint is pushed through holes in mesh or plexiglass from the reverse to create painterly ‘pixels’ on the surface of each work. Seen up close, Larkin’s works are tactile and sculptural; they emphasise the materiality of the medium she uses. As distance is placed between the viewer and the work, these individual elements come into focus as part of an overall pattern. The painting’s reading shifts from an exploration of painterly process, form, and plasticity to a matrix containing specific information to be decoded.

This shift from concrete to abstract illustrates the socio-cultural dualities that Larkin continues to explore. She draws from twentieth-century theories of abstraction in painting and at the same time uses patterns which are layered with meaning and firmly embedded within te ao Māori. Recent works have explored the way in which Western scientific traditions fit with the holistic celestial knowledge of Māori navigators.

Peata Larkin (b.1973) is of Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, and Ngāti Tuhourangi descent. A graduate of the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, she completed her Master’s degree at RMIT University, Melbourne in 2007. In 2018 Larkin was awarded the prestigious Kaipara Wallace Arts Trust Award, which provides a three-month residency at the Altes Spital in Solothurn, Switzerland. Her work is part of important collections both internationally and throughout New Zealand including the Memphis Museum of Fine Arts in USA.

Two Rooms opened in 2006 in a large, architecturally designed warehouse space in Newton, Auckland. The gallery represents leading New Zealand and international artists, alongside emerging artists with a diverse exhibition programme featuring work in all contemporary media. The building houses two gallery spaces which provide flexibility for ambitious installations, curated projects and exhibitions from both represented and invited artists.