Bill Culbert’s Exhibition Most Engaging to Hit Sydney in Years
“The work of internationally acclaimed, New Zealand-born, France-based artist Bill Culbert has the potential to change the way you shop as well as the way you view art,” begins Nicholas Forrest in a review of Culbert’s National Art School (NAS) exhibition in Sydney.
“Culbert achieves this extraordinary feat of artistry with his preferred mediums of fluorescent light tubes and found materials which he uses to create engaging and poetic sculptural interventions that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
“The breadth and depth of Culbert’s practice is the subject of a major exhibition at the NAS Gallery. Currently on show until 7 March, the exhibition is not only Culbert’s largest solo project Australia to date, it is also arguably one of the most interesting and engaging exhibitions to be held in Sydney in recent years.
“The centrepiece of the exhibition is the installation “Pacific Flotsam” (2007) from the acclaimed body of work that Culbert exhibited in Venice in 2013 as New Zealand’s Venice Biennale representative. The sprawling floor-based work comprises a mass of coloured, empty bottles interspersed amongst dozens of fluorescent light tubes.
“It is in the large, open space of the NAS upper gallery at the site of “Pacific Flotsam” where the energy that is a key characteristic of Culbert’s work is at its most powerful.
“There is something different and unique about Culbert’s practice that distinguishes it from that of any other artist working today … He plants a seed of skepticism and critical thought surrounding perceptions of both fine art and everyday objects while at the same time fascinates and delights his audience with his unique artistic vision. This is the genius if his practice.”
Culbert has permanent commissioned sculptures in London, Wellington and Auckland. Many are collaborative works with the late Ralph Hotere. His work is held in public and private collections throughout New Zealand and Europe.
He was born in 1935.
Original article by Nicholas Forrest, Blouinartinfo, February 12, 2015.