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Lorene Taurerewa: Prestidigitation
September 24, 2013 - November 17, 2013
The works in Prestidigitation are concerned with the posing, feigning, manners and trickery of people forced to live and operate under the cover of aliases.
These people are the population of our contemporary world. Many conditions – the post-colonial condition, the class war, the broken nuclear family, the age of communication of codes- have laid down the weave of this world, a weave uniquely tangled in the specificity of each person and each relationship of people. Navigating these tangles involves a series of moves, moves to negotiate, duplicate and perpetuate the psychological environment called Prestidigitation.
Lorene Taurerewa, 2013
Lorene Taurerewa has used drawing to create a universe of characters that she composes into her own unique figurative allegories. The narratives of her work are centred on the dualities of God and evolution; the eternal versus the ever-changing; love and free will versus determinism; the conscious versus the subconscious. These dialectical investigations are manifested in beautiful and delicate figures drawn in charcoal, ink and watercolour. The figures are sometimes spontaneous, sometimes deeply still, or bursting with potential energy. Taurerewa’s deft hand and years of training have accorded her an immediacy of touch that allows the subjects of her works to oscillate between dualities as she chooses to portray them.
Recently Taurerewa’s drawings have explored 19th century portrait photography and its links to allegorical painting through the use of props and backdrops. Featured in many of her drawings is a table top. The table top is long-established in painting as a place to gather, arrange, and reflect on certain chosen cherished objects. In the Vanitas tradition such a composition was used to remind the owner of their corporeality by the use of objects that prompt the viewer to think of the larger facts of time and death, as ‘memento mori’ or reminder of mortality. A table top can be read as the surface of this world, like a plain beneath a sky. On that surface, objects relate, inter-depend, and struggle for independence, in the same various ways as figures on a landscape without refuge, rimmed by oblivion. The style of the table can allude more: a kitchen bench or dining table would come with allusions to sacrifice; a large desk suggests worldly, political thought and import; little table tops evoke thoughts of secret, unrealizable worlds of wish, dream, and fancy, penned in intimate letters. On little table tops board and card games are played, so plots of ruse, stealth and chance may be portrayed on them.
Now based in New York, New Zealand-born artist Lorene Taurerewa has exhibited in museums, private and public galleries in France, Hong Kong, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Quay School of Fine Arts in Wanganui (1996), a Diploma of Teaching from Massey University (1998) and in 2000 she participated in the Auckland University of Technology Masters of Fine Arts programme. Taurerewa has received a number of international awards and grants, including artist-in-residence at the National Art Studio of the Korean National Museum of Contemporary Art (2007). From 2000-2008 she was Lecturer for Drawing at the School of Design, Victoria University of Wellington. Taurerewa is represented by Milford Galleries in New Zealand and by Helen Gory Galerie in Australia.