Exhibition

John Tarlton

An exhibition of New Works

Date: Oct 22 – Nov 4Space: Small Gallery

John Tarlton is back with an exhibition full of New Works.

John Tarlton’s paintings and prints fit outside the norm of traditional figurative and landscape motif found in much of New Zealand painting. He sees himself as a storyteller, whose works are organic in their creation. He doesn’t use sketchbooks to develop his concepts. Instead chooses to start with a single image that takes his fancy and then lets the narrative build from there. The stories grow as he makes connections. Throughout the works humour, pun, and satire are used to titillate the viewers reading.

John Tarlton first exhibited his art in New Zealand in the heady Auckland art scene of the mid-seventies. Since then he has had numerous one man fine art shows in New Zealand, Australia and the United States, as well as pursuing many years of active practice as a lecturer, academic, and art educator. His work is represented in several private collections and the public collections of Te Papa, Auckland City Art Gallery, Rotorua City Art Gallery, Waikato Museum of History and Art, Te Manawa (Museum of Art Science History, Palmerston North), University of Auckland, and the State University of New York at Albany.

A California-born New Zealander, John received degrees in fine art at the undergraduate and graduate levels from the State University of New York at Albany, and also studied for a year with Rudi Gopas, William Sutton and Philip Trusttum at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts (Ilam) in 1972. In addition, he holds a PhD in Vocational Art Education from Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

Tarlton has always intentionally flown somewhat under the radar. To date, he remains what the New Zealand writer Kevin Ireland described in a Listener review as an artist who:
“…has resisted identification with art movements or groups that might have endorsed his reputation… He is very much an individualist– a virtuoso draftsman, a player of visual games and a wit…” (N.Z. Listener, April 29, 1991).

As noted, his paintings and prints have always fit outside the norm of traditional figurative and landscape motifs found in much of New Zealand painting. Instead, the preference here is to present works which are mainly witty and sometimes irreverent engagements– personal discourses and visual narratives which probe both the individual and the universal on aspects of the human condition.

In other words, the works can be seen as playful and amusing puzzles; disparate clues and cues presented to fancifully define the moods, manners, points-of-view and preoccupations of our personal and communal lived worlds, social concepts and constructs, and presuppositions. They promote the possibility for viewer alternative reflection of past and present events, celebrity, relationships, life, love, history, culture, cuisine, politics, or any number of other subjects Tarlton decides to dissect.

While overall the tenor of the paintings and prints are both humorous and intellectual, themes run a gauntlet anywhere from stony-faced and reflective historicity, to dead pan, tongue-in-cheek satire, and text analogues. Throughout the works humour, pun, and satire (suggested by the use of combinations of concordant or contradictory imagery, collage, and texts) are used to titillate the viewer’s reading.

These days Tarlton primarily works on paper, using a full spectrum of media that includes watercolour, acrylic, gouache, ink, pencil and collage. The surfaces move seamlessly from passages of realistically rendered subjects, to areas of action painting and elements of collage. Compositions seem effortlessly balanced, as are the carefully thought out and engaging interplays of positive and negative space.

This exhibition provides the public a rare opportunity to observe this individual and unique voice within contemporary New Zealand fine art.

 Artist statement

While versed in most traditional painting and drawing media, I have predominantly concentrated on mixed media (on paper or wood surfaces), utilising watercolour, stencil, printing, transfers, acrylic, gouache, ink and aspects of collage. I have also attempted to juxtapose realist techniques in association with expressionistic-like action painted passages. I also reinforce many of my paintings’ intents by the introduction of related, associated passages of text. These are used not only for their literal meaning but also as element of double coding and compositional device.

In addition, I am interested in portraying events, people, philosophies, and concepts through their subjective association within the viewer’s frame of reference. The themes and intentions of my work can run anywhere from sombre and reflective historicity, to dead pan, tongue-in-cheek satire and text analogues mirroring the human condition. Aspects of humour, pun, and satire are used to stimulate questions and reflections on lived world presuppositions.

Join John Tarlton to celebrate the opening of his exhibition at Creative Arts Napier, 5-7pm on Friday 29 October.
At the opening we kindly request that you wear a face mask and observe social distancing. Refreshments will be available and all are welcome to attend. We will be monitoring the numbers attending with a maximum of 100 at any one time as per level 2 guidelines.

Collections and Exhibitions of John Tarlton

Collections

Represented in private collections in New Zealand, Australia, United States and the public collections of:

Te Papa, New Zealand National Art Gallery

Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland

Rotorua City Art Gallery, Rotorua

Waikato Museum of History and Art, Hamilton

Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History. Palmerston North

University of Auckland, Auckland

State University of New York at Albany

Exhibitions

Fine Art Selected Exhibitions, One Man

2021    New Paintings, Creative Arts Napier. Napier (Oct 22- Nov 4) Forthcoming

2019    How green was my trevally: Paintings and prints by John Tarlton, Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History. Palmerston North (9 March-August)

2018    New paintings, Creative Arts Napier. Napier (13-26 April)

2017    “Food for Thought” Paintings, Creative Arts Napier. Napier (March 3-10)

2016    Paintings and prints, Creative Arts Napier. Napier (January 8-28)

2014    Paintings and Prints, Kelley Gallery, Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center. Venice Beach, California (2 February-1 March)

2010    New Works, Southbank Institute of Technology Art Gallery. Brisbane (1-12 March)

2001    Brisbane City Council (Bulimba Library)

1999    Southbank Institute of Tafe (Morningside Art Gallery) Brisbane

1993    Warwick Brown Gallery, Auckland

1992    RKS Art, Auckland

1991    RKS Art, Auckland

1990    RKS Art, Auckland

1990    Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton

1989    RKS Art, Auckland

1989    Lopdell House, Titirangi

1988    Charlotte H. Galleries, Auckland

1988    Rotorua City Art Gallery, Rotorua

1979    Gallerie Legard, Wellington

1978    Rotorua City Art Gallery, Rotorua

1978    Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland

1977    Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland

1977    Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland

Selected Group Exhibitions

2014    South Bay Focus (Juried), Torrance Art Museum, Torrance California (8 November – 5 December)

2004    Technical and Further Education (Tafe) Teachers and Tutors Group Exhibition, Southbank Insitute of Tafe, Brisbane

2003    Tafe Teachers and Tutors Group Exhibition, Southbank Institute of Tafe, Brisbane

2002    Brisbane Illustrators Group (American Bookstore, Brisbane)

2002    Tafe Teachers and Tutors Group Exhibition, Southbank Institute of Tafe, Brisbane

2000    Brodie/Tarlton/White. Space 43, Brisbane

2000    Christmas Exhibition. 482 Gallery, Brisbane

1997    Nola Holmwood Portrait Award (finalist) ASA Gallery, Auckland

1996    Waitakere Licensing Trust Art Award Exhibition, Henderson, N.Z.

1996    “Celebrating the New Zealand Coastline,” North Shore City Art Award

1996    Tokoroa Art Award Exhibition (finalist)

1996    Art and Science Selected Group Exhibition, Portfolio Gallery, Auckland

1996    Pumphouse Art Award (Award winner), North Shore City

1996    Norsewear Art Award Exhibition, Auckland

1995    James Wallace Trust Art Award, Auckland

1995    James Wallace Trust Finalist Art Award, Auckland

1995    Copy Art (Artist Alliance), Outreach, Auckland

1995    Self Portraits, Outreach, Auckland

1995    The Alphabet Show, Pakuranga Community Centre, Pakuranga

1994    Out of the Black (Artists’ Alliance), Outreach, Auckland

1994    Selected Prints, Portfolio Gallery, Auckland

1993    Invited Group Exhibition, Chiaroscuro Gallery, Auckland

1993    Modern Myths, Chiaroscuro Gallery, Auckland

1992    Coastlines, Lopdell House, Titirangi

1992    Isolated and Immuned, Fischer Gallery, Pakuranga

1991    Invited Printmakers, Portfolio Gallery, Auckland

1991    The Nude Show Invitational, Charlotte H. Galleries, Auckland

1991    Drawing Invitational, Portfolio Gallery, Auckland

1991    Still Life Invitational, Charlotte H. Galleries, Auckland

1990    Self-Portrait Invitational, Canterbury Society of Arts, Christchurch

1990    Acquisitions Review, Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland

1990    Animals, Animals, Lopdell House, Titirangi

1990    The Wild West Show, Lopdell House, Titirangi

1990    The Realists, Charlotte H. Galleries, Auckland

1979    Figurative Artists, Peter Webb Galleries, Auckland

1979    Air New Zealand Rotorua Civic Art Award, Rotorua

1979    New Year, New Works, Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland

1978    Works for Children, Peter Webb Galleries, Auckland

1978    Rangitoto Special, Peter Webb Galleries, Auckland

1978    New Year, New Works, Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland

1977    Opening Group Exhibition, Rotorua City Art Gallery, Rotorua

1977    Group Print Show, Peter Webb Galleries, Auckland

1977    New Year, New Works, Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland

1976    New Zealand Drawing Invitational, Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland

1976    Prints from the Permanent Collection, Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland

1975    Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland

1975    Barrington Gallery, Auckland

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