John Reynolds: NOMADOLOGY

John Reynolds: NOMADOLOGY [Loitering with Intent]
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
27 March – 13 June, 2010

John Reynolds
One of New Zealand’s most voluble contemporary artists, John Reynolds, presents NOMADOLOGY [Loitering with Intent], an accumulation of recent work exploring the power of words, at the Govett-Brewster from 27 March to 13 June 2010.

Taking full advantage of the unique indoor and outdoor spaces of the Gallery, Reynolds explores his predilection for practical language with a considered nod to the jetstream trails of philosophy.

John Reynolds says, “I am thrilled and delighted to have such a central role in the celebrations for the Govett-Brewster’s fortieth year, a Gallery that has been a shining beacon for the contemporary art practice in New Zealand for four decades.”

“To be given the excellent Gallery spaces to work in and to have my new and recent works sit alongside Len Lye’s Trilogy is a tremendous honour. It will be a highlight of the year for me, and crucially poised between projects in New York and Beijing.”

Rather than a retrospective, Reynolds’ exhibition presents recent work from 2009 and 2010, including seven new works created especially for the Govett-Brewster.

Govett-Brewster Director Rhana Devenport says about the exhibition, “NOMADOLOGY [Loitering with Intent] toils with signs, handwritten lists and demarcations of text and territories; lines of drift set to a longer song of homelessness.”

“Plucked from sources as far afield as the index from A Thousand Plateaus – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s oft-quoted post-modern reference from 1980 – to the entire listing from the New Plymouth street directory; Reynolds’ lists are recast as ciphers to poetic possibility.”

“Two works are in direct response to the invitation from the Gallery; From Real Time to NOMADOLOGY [Loitering with Intent] lists forty years of exhibition making at the Govett-Brewster, while By the roads and fields is a homage to place and memory in its alphabetical listing of every New Plymouth street name,” says Devenport.

Reynolds casts his net wide, trawling from the everyday to the obscure. Band set lists, song lyrics, lists of dead philosophers, the top ten auction prices for New Zealand art, and the twitter version of literature classics all find their way into this sweeping open-ended conversation about contemporary language systems and meaning.

Reynolds’ material forms range from stacked, hand drawn canvases, to manufactured road signs, writing on walls and fairy lights, to flashing LED motorway signs. He reminds us of use and usefulness, of glitches, gaffs, coincidence, history, danger and exquisite moments of beauty.

The exhibition will also spill out on to the road in front of the Gallery. TO DIE LAUGHING, a new LED motorway sign work listing dead philosophers names and the often ironic ways in which they died, will reside on the street in front of the Gallery for the duration of the exhibition.

“It will hopefully act as a powerful, yet cautionary, LED magnet drawing visitors into the Gallery from the street outside,” says Reynolds.

NOMADOLOGY [Loitering with Intent] is presented with generous the support of Te Kairanga Wines, The Radio Network Taranaki, Sue Crockford Gallery and Starkwhite. The exhibition will open at 5.00pm on 27 March as part of the Govett-Brewster hits 40 pARTy, which is supported (in addition to the sponsors above) by TSB Community Trust, Friends of the Govett-Brewster, the Govett-Brewster Foundation and Atawhai Nursery – Idea Services.

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery