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Tue 13 Apr 2010, 11:00am–6:00pm
Wed 14 Apr 2010, 11:00am–6:00pm
Thu 15 Apr 2010, 11:00am–6:00pm
Fri 16 Apr 2010, 11:00am–6:00pm
Sat 17 Apr 2010, 11:00am–3:00pm

Where: Michael Lett, 285/2 Great North Rd, Newton, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

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Listed by: MCH Admin

Michael Lett presents 'Small Worlds', an exhibition by Jim Allen, on display from 17 March - 17 April 2010.

'Our appreciation of the world is active, not passive, and art displays an emergent apprehension.'*

Forty years after opening at Auckland’s Barry Lett Galleries in 1969, Michael Lett will present two ‘environmental structures’ from Jim Allen’s seminal exhibition, Small Worlds.

Composed of PVC, nylon filaments, paper printed with text and lit with ultraviolet light, Allen’s companion structures take the ‘potency of material as building blocks for ideas,’ channeling both the physical and poetic qualities of his material to explore the affective potential of space, form and light.

Originally dubbed ‘penetrables,’ the structures that comprise Small Worlds invite interaction between viewer and work, forefronting a conception of space as fluid and changeable, charged with the dynamics of active, perceiving bodies. As Christina Barton noted of the environments of the 60s and 70s, ‘they fulfilled Allen’s new conception of sculpture as an activity rather than an object...’**

Exhibition opening preview Wednesday 17 March 2010 6-8pm.

Instrumental in the development of post-object and performance-based art in Australasia, Allen’s exhibition and educational history is extensive. During his tenure as Head of Sculpture and Associate Professor at Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland (1960-1976), Allen produced exhibitions such as Small Worlds at Barry Lett Galleries (1969), Arena (1970) and the three-part performance Contact at the Auckland Art Gallery (1974).

Relocating to Australia in 1976 Allen was central in the development of the Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide and Founding Head of Sydney College of the Arts (1977-87). In 2000 Allen presented the video works Contact, Post Objective and Hanging by a Thread at Artspace, Auckland and in 2006 Allen re-staged his 1976 performance, Poetry For Chainsaws, at Michael Lett, Auckland, and the two-part installation O-AR at St Paul Street Gallery, AUT, Auckland. 
R 32;

Copies of Jim Allen: Poetry For Chainsaws & Hanging by a Thread II - a publication released on the occasion of Allen’s previous solo exhibition at the gallery - will be available during Small Worlds. The publication is a hardbound, 45 page, limited edition book featuring a major essay by Dr. Leonhard Emmerling.

* From statement displayed in foyer of Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, 1970s. Noel Sheridan (ed.), The Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, South Australia (Adelaide: EAF Press, 1979). Cited in Blair French, Jim Allen: From Elam to the Experimental Art Foundation.

** Christina Barton, “The Last Small World: Jim Allen’s New Zealand Environment no. 5”, Midwest, No. 1 (1992), p.29

Image: Jim Allen, Small Worlds, 1969, installation view: Barry Lett Galleries

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