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PLEASE PLEASE ME, 27 JANUARY - 21 FEBRUARY 2009
Bartley and Company Art is very pleased to be able to present this new body of work by Mary-Louise Brown as its inaugural exhibition in Ghuznee Street. The exhibition represents her first foray into neon. The use of neon brings a new dimension to Browne's work with the direct and playful conflation of fine and commercial art practice. The messages here, however, are not those of commercial signs but are open-ended texts: two are drawn from popular culture. 'Please please me', for example, references The Beatles hit single and title track of their first album and Dead Calm is drawn from the 1989 Phillip Noyce movie of the same name.
Words are the constant feature of Browne's work and with this new work she continues her exploration of the metaphoric, material and visual power of language. 'The closer the look' explores the slipperiness of language when employed visually and graphically and 'Red words' speaks to abstract painting.
Mary-Louise Browne has a Master of Fine Arts degree with First Class Honours in sculpture from the Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland, She has exhibited widely and is represented in major public and private collections. She is best known for her major public commissions - the most recent of which is the award winning granite bench transmutation work stretching the length of Lorne Street in Auckland. 'Body to Soul' in the Wellington Botanical Gardens is another well-known wor.
Mary-Louise's exploration of neon in this exhibition has been made possible by a grant from Creative New Zealand.
Mark Amery, art critic, The Dominion Post, 4 February 2009
"Browne opens out the rich potential readings within the public ornamental and decorative presentation of language from a move poster to a memorial.
She provides challenging often rewarding plays between the prosaic and poetic, weighing the imaginative value of words as objects and emblems.
Her work is at its most interesting for me when it is at its most poetically playful in talking to the material being used.
There are also several new works in neon here. It's a material whose use for text in art is well worn, and it's at its most effective here for me when the words speak strongly to its gaseous stillness and its design, such as in a movie-poster-style rendering of the words 'Dead Calm'."