Snake Oil: Chartwell Acquisitions 2002-5

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Hany Armanious, Untitled, Snake Oil, 2003, Hot Melt, oil paint, drinking glasses.

Snake Oil: Chartwell Acquisitions 2002-5

  • Where

    Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

  • When

    11 June 2005 - 11 September 2005

Curated by Robert Leonard, at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, this exhibition continued the series of recent acquisition exhibitions that reflected the changing nature of Australasian art in the Chartwell Collection. “The Collection was always intended for public use,” Leonard wrote, “and its long term loan to the Auckland Art Gallery ensures that a wide audience can access it through regular exhibitions, publications and through the temporary loan of works to other public galleries.”

This exhibition included work by Hany Armanious, Guy Benfield, Stephen Birch, Mladen Bizumic, Stella Brennan, Steve Carr, Michael Harrison, Sara Hughes, Simon Ingram, Giovanni Intra, Peter Madden, Liz Maw, Seung Yul Oh, Martin Thompson, Yvonne Todd, Ronnie van Hout and Rohan Wealleans.

In the foreground is a large square cardboard plinth with multiple tiny glass mushroom sculptures in various colours arranged upon it. In the background, two-dimensional framed artworks are hung on white gallery walls with a column in the middle of the room.

Hany Armanious, Untitled Snake Oil, 2003. Chartwell Collection.


The image shows a white gallery space with a polished wooden floor. On the left is a painting made up of dark red and bright yellow squares. Next to it are two smaller blue artworks, not clearly visible from the photograph's distance. In the middle of the room is a tall white column, and to the right of this is an analogue television on a plinth playing a video. On the far right a blue painting hangs on the wall.

Left to right: Simon Ingram, Frictionless Painting (social colour), 2003. Miladen Bizumic, Hauturu Doc (with soundtrack 'Adagio Under My Thumb' by the Rolling Stones), 2003. Stella Brennan, Tuesday, 3 July 2001, 10:38am, 2001-2002. All Chartwell Collection.


The image shows a white gallery space with a polished wooden floor. On the left white wall hangs a dark grey coat next to a chalkboard with indistinguishable writing scrawled all over it. In the centre background a couch made out of black and white animal hide is located on the floor, with the seat opened and propped up by a small chalkboard to show the inside cavity of the couch. A white speaker is placed upon it. In the centre foreground, an old fashioned student's school chair, painted black, is positioned with another chalkboard propped up on it with indistinguishable writing on it. An eraser sits on the seat of the chair.

dr p mule, the creative act, 2003. Chartwell Collection.


On the back white gallery wall hangs a realistic painting of a unnaturally pale, blue-tinged nude woman sitting down in a black void space. She stares at the viewer while holding a gun to her head. In the foreground, a lifelike replica of a chimp is sprawled across a polished wooden floor, dressed in a dark grey business suit. He is positioned face down and holds a device with a screen on it in one outstretched hand.

Left: Liz Maw, Satan, 2003. Centre wooden floor: Ronnie van Hout, Drunk Chimp, 2002. Both Chartwell Collection.


On the left hand white gallery wall, a small rectangular flatscreen television plays a video depicting a person blowing up a balloon one handed. On the right wall hangs a dark black suit covered in little pointed studs.

Left: Seung Yul Oh, The Ability to Blow Themselves Up, 2005. Right: Giovanni Intra, Untitled (Studded Suit), 1990. Both Chartwell Collection.


The image shows a white gallery space with a polished wooden floor. Hung across the walls in a scattered fashion are multiple small models of bald human heads, which look like mannequin heads. They are hung high up and are tilted down towards the viewer.

Stephen Birch, Cosmos (2nd version), 2004. Chartwell Collection.


The image shows a wall in a white gallery space with a polished wooden floor. On the left, a lifelike plastic ram's head wearing a crown of paper butterflies is hung on the wall. On the right, a pair of shoes has been placed on the floor.

Peter Madden, Ram Mount, 2004 (left) and Leave, 2004 (right). Both Chartwell Collection.