Yesterday I went to check out Wall Works at the Adam Art Gallery - site-specific works by 8 artists, commissioned to mark the 10th anniversary of the gallery's opening.
Earlier in the day I'd had a really surprising visit to the Dowse (more on that later) and while I enjoyed some of the works - Jeena Shin's in particular - I think my capacity for art wonder had been used up for the day. You can read John Hurrell's review for more about the show, and David Cauchi's rather entertaining accounts of the development of bathroom work to get a feel for the "art camp" experience.
Instead, I got rather hung up on one detail of the exhibition installation. For the second time in the row (Laura Preston's previous show was the same, I think), there was no signage to tell you who each work was by. I can understand the desire not to put labels up next to wall works - it would have been quite incongruous, and even ugly. But surely there are some inventive ways to get around this, like vinyl signage on the floor?
If you picked up the understated little flyer from the desk, you did get details about each artist and their work, with the name of the space they were working in. However, this relies on you checking whether you're in the Congreve foyer or the lower Chartwell gallery to make sure you correctly match artist to work - or doing this retrospectively, if you pick up the flyer on the way out.
It's fine if you're pretty familiar with contemporary New Zealand art, and can make a good stab at it for yourself. But I do wonder how this makes less regular gallery visitors feel.