Exploring Auckland’s World-Class Contemporary Art Galleries
Auckland Art Gallery. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Though the city itself might be geographically situated at the edge of the globe, there’s no denying that Auckland’s contemporary art galleries are world-class in quality. Given that cutting-edge curators are constantly setting up shop across the city, even a walking search for an Auckland art gallery will reveal multiple gems. To help structure your schedule, we’ve done the hard work for you, compiling an exciting list of the art spaces that deserve a look-through.
Gow Langsford Gallery
More often than not, a gallery’s history discloses a lot about the authenticity of its values and exhibiting principles – and even a short look at the Gow Langford Gallery‘s track record affirms its reputation as one of the best art galleries in Auckland. Established in 1987, the Gow Langsford Gallery has exhibited its commitment to modern art for three decades and, via its founders’ determination to develop channels between the gallery and the international art community, it has acquired and exhibited work by the likes of Damien Hirst and Anthony Goicolea. Maori and Pacific subjects are particularly privileged by the Gow Langsford Gallery, and a diverse selection of works from well-known New Zealand artists are available for purchase in its exhibition space.
It’s not unusual to see the Michael Lett space filled to the brim with art enthusiasts on a weekday evening, all flocking to enjoy the art offered by this trend-setting contemporary art gallery in Auckland. Situated in a repurposed old bank, the gallery’s external architecture is in striking contrast to the utter modernity of the art that is placed inside, with Eve Armstrong, Dan Arps and Hany Armanious among the group of established practitioners that exhibit their works at Michael Lett. With its eponymous gallery founder refusing to shy away from bold installations and arrangements, Michael Lett is a must-visit destination for those interested in all things experimental and abstract.
Found on Putiki Street, Hopkinson Mossman is an intimate Auckland contemporary art gallery that makes a feature of its space. With long white walls and stark lines of lights overhead, the gallery’s physical characteristics work to emphasise the colour and vibrancy of the paintings, textiles, sculptures, and pieces of photography installed within it. Offering a lively schedule of exhibitions and featured artists, Hopkinson Mossman is interested not only in art itself but in written explanation of it, and thus the gallery promotes books alongside its visual works.
Also on Putiki Street, Two Rooms extends an exciting contemporary art experience from the outset, with the gallery-goer initially presented with a view of the converted warehouse that houses the gallery space. The modern theme continues as one walks through the gallery’s ‘Two Rooms’, both of which feature the work of such artists as Simon Morris. Two Rooms also runs a respected residency programme for new and established artists, so if it’s an artist in action you’re seeking, this is the modern art gallery in Auckland to make a beeline to.
Though it rounds out our list of contemporary art galleries in Auckland, Starkwhite is last in order terms only, having proven itself a central player in the city’s contemporary art milieu since its opening. Living up to its name, the gallery’s exhibition space is startlingly white, with the gallery viewer first introduced to the interior through broad panes of glass that tease the diverse art collection within. Artists like Billy Apple and Laith McGregor feature regularly, and Starkwhite hosts a selection of art and music events in its gallery space too, so keep up with their website’s event list to see what’s on while you’re in Auckland.