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ModCon (2017)

ModCon (2017)

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  • Sat 15 Jul ’17, 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mon 17 Jul ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tue 18 Jul ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wed 19 Jul ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu 20 Jul ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri 21 Jul ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sat 22 Jul ’17, 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mon 24 Jul ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tue 25 Jul ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wed 26 Jul ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu 27 Jul ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri 28 Jul ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sat 29 Jul ’17, 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mon 31 Jul ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tue 1 Aug ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wed 2 Aug ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Thu 3 Aug ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Fri 4 Aug ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sat 5 Aug ’17, 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mon 7 Aug ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Tue 8 Aug ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Wed 9 Aug ’17, 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • View all sessions


Milford Galleries Dunedin, 18 Dowling St, Dunedin Show map


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission


ModCon (2017)

ModCon considers how the works of selected senior artists fit into a canon of New Zealand Modernism. Juxtaposed with this are works from contemporary artists whose practices interrogate the ways in which paint and sculpture can simultaneously illustrate and subvert the fundamental elements of their chosen medium

Clement Greenberg’s seminal essay Modernist Painting (1960) provided a definition of modernism that has continued to echo throughout the intervening decades. Invoking Kant’s Critique of Reason, Greenberg outlined modernism’s essential self-reflexivity and positioned it firmly within the Modernist paradigms of progression and empiricism.

Extraneous influences were of no concern to modernism; art’s narratives were of itself and presented according to its own (medium-specific) parameters. Art used its fundamental properties to criticise “from the inside”. Modernist art could be said to epitomise the logical endpoint of Marshall McLuhan’s declaration where medium - message - medium in a closed, self-referential loop.

For many, the phrase ‘modern art’ conjures up paintings that are non-realist and non-figurative. They do not ‘show’ anything nor are they ‘like’ anything other than themselves: they possess none of the objects (subject-matter) that Barnett Newman declared most people want to see in an artwork and which “for them, makes the painting seem full”.

Confronted with an abstract painting, viewers might try and find forms that look like a recognisable object and the age-old phrase “my child could do that” is still uttered, especially in reference to minimalist works.

For full exhibition text, please refer to our website.

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