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We are delighted to offer you the opportunity to visit McLeavey Gallery, the longest running dealer gallery in New Zealand, where Gallery Manager, Grace Ridley-Smith will introduce the work of Christina Pataialii, one of New Zealand’s most exciting, young artists. Her bold, expressive paintings are alive with movement, colour and a sense of immediacy. Celebrated for her distinctive approach that mixes high and low materials – acrylic, house paint, spray paint and charcoal – and her eye for colour, her work exudes a sense of dynamic energy.
Christina Pataialii, Artist
Christina’s current exhibition, titled Home by Dark was inspired by early memories of the world at dusk and the suspension of time just before the streetlights flick on. Her first exhibition of new work since returning from the Gasworks residency in London, Home by Dark is an important development in her palette, composition and style. Long concerned with the tension between building and flattening surface and creating a push and pull between painterly and physical space, these new works formalise her interest in fracturing and fragmenting forms and composition. Open, swirling strokes give way to tighter brushwork and a stronger sense of geometry and line. Echoes of early 20th century avant-garde painting—influences Christina explored more fully in Europe—can be seen throughout. Particularly inspiring were two exhibitions of Russian painters Liubov Popova and Natalia Goncharova—early pioneers of a new visual language with far-reaching implications. Originally conceived during Christina’s time in London – when Brexit and the UK election loomed large, creating a charged atmosphere of uncertainty – the works were painted during lockdown and the weeks following. Visual shifts in light, palette and style become a metaphor for wider social shifts. The liminal space between day and night referencing the ambiguity of the present moment.
Christina Pataialii graduated with a Masters of Fine Art from Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in 2018 and the day after graduation she opened a major exhibition Solid Gold at Te Tuhi, Auckland. Prior to that she was awarded the 2017 Iris Fisher Scholarship. In 2019 she held solo exhibitions in Auckland (On the Lam, Tim Melville Gallery) and Wellington (Wouldn’t it be Nice, McLeavey Gallery). The same year, 2019, she was awarded the Rydal Art Prize and the prestigious Gasworks Residency in London. Christina is now living and working in Wellington.
McLeavey Gallery is located on Level 1, 147 Cuba Street. Access to the gallery is by a steep staircase and some seating will be available.