Rob Gardiner

Works Made According to the Laws of Chance and Choice

06 - 22 DEC 2023

Rob Gardiner set up the Chartwell Trust in the early 1970s as a means to promote the importance of not only the visual arts but of creativity itself.

In 1982 he established the Centre for Contemporary Art in Hamilton as the first home for an art collection which “reflected my own understanding of the significance of an artwork in terms of its power to engage, its contribution to our art history and its value as a public resource.”

Today the collection is held at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki and Gardiner, at 90 years of age, is recognised throughout the country as a collector, a patron and a philanthropist.

What is less well-known is that he is a practising artist.

He writes:

“My art-making process in these works uses paint and other materials as objects. I’m not mixing colours as in traditional painting. Mark-making processes reign. The emphasis is on the found materials/the discovered. Black dominates. Fragments of colour are hidden, heightening the intensity of the black.

Hand movements do not seek to trick the eye in recognizing a subject ‘out there’. They seek to be honest, direct, intuitive, and apparently unskilled – objects in themselves. Thus, the making emphasises process and chance, with inputs from senses and feelings rather than intellect.  Submission of this kind produces outcomes which speak to me, rather than me speaking through them. They live. I recognize the non-objective and the neo-materialist here. 

My past art-making often included the use of found materials e.g. bungee cords, wires, mesh, planter boxes, wood, mud, sticks and stones, joinery, pipes, bottles, fabric scraps (torn and cut), paints, tin cans and pencils. I am captivated by idea-generation – the creative human mind and body acting playfully and freely in a given chance-filled world. This is in and outside of art making.  

I am passionate about art as a form of thinking and about artists as thinkers – shaping beliefs, cultures, and lives. I don’t fit a regular ‘marketplace’. Much of my work has been of an installation kind. I find myself hoping the objects which result from my activity might in turn be used by others to create, particularly on their own walls/worlds of their own choosing.  This process of finding our own creative way can take on a life of its own and provide an open domain for discovery and delivery – a fulfillment I feel as a given, for which I am most grateful.

Picasso said “It took a lifetime to paint like a child “- (I’m 90 and he’s correct!)”

Rob Gardiner

Auckland, November 2023

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ROB GARDINER
Untitled
2023
mixed media on paper
970mm H x 765mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
Works Made According to the Laws of Chance and Choice
2023
Installation view

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ROB GARDINER
Untitled
2023
acrylic on paper
435mm H x 345mm W (frame)
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
No.1: Arrangement of 9 fabric objects, hung according to the laws of chance and choice
2023
mixed media on found fabric on foamboard
Installation dimensions variable

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ROB GARDINER
Works Made According to the Laws of Chance and Choice
2023
Installation view

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ROB GARDINER
Works Made According to the Laws of Chance and Choice
2023
Installation view

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ROB GARDINER
Untitled
2023
mixed media on paper
685mm H x 580mm W (frame)

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ROB GARDINER
Untitled
2023
mixed media on paper
685mm H x 580mm W (frame)

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ROB GARDINER
No. 8: Black torn found fabric object with white paint scumble fill
2023
mixed media on found fabric on foamboard
400mm H x 300mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
No. 9: Black torn found fabric object with white paint scumble and scratched crosses
2023
mixed media on found fabric on foamboard
750mm H x 500mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
No. 15: 2 vertical straight edges, 1 large and 6 smaller white crosses, and 1 yellow circle
2023
mixed media on found fabric on foamboard
620mm H x 350mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
No. 17: 3 straight edges, white paint stain, 1 red, 1 yellow and 1 blue dot
2023
mixed media on found fabric on foamboard
490mm H x 330mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
No. 6: Black torn found fabric object with white reverse paint stain and 2 red ochre paint dots
2023
mixed media on found fabric on foamboard
350mm H x 250mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
No. 3: Black torn found fabric object, 1 straight edge, others torn/deckled, with 2 sewn thread crosses
2023
mixed media on found fabric on foamboard
500mm H x 420mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
No. 7: Black torn found fabric object, en abyme white paint stain, black edges, 1 red and 1 yellow dot
2023
mixed media on found fabric on foamboard
650mm H x 440mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
Untitled
2023
mixed media on found fabric on foamboard
420mm H x 335mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
No. 11: Black torn found fabric object with mixed marks including 4 sewn thread crosses
2023
mixed media on found fabric on foamboard
580mm H x 450mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
No. 4: Black torn fabric object with 7 yellow paint dots and one red
2023
acrylic on found fabric on foamboard
330mm H x 200mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
No. 13: Left straight edge with yellow mark
2023
mixed media on found fabric on foamboard
780mm H x 540mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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ROB GARDINER
Works Made According to the Laws of Chance and Choice
2023
Installation view

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ROB GARDINER
Works Made According to the Laws of Chance and Choice
2023
Installation view

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ROB GARDINER
Works Made According to the Laws of Chance and Choice
2023
Installation view

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ROB GARDINER
No. 12: Drawing, 9 shaped canvases hung according to the laws of chance
2023
acrylic on paper
570mm H x 770mm W
COLLECTION OF THE ARTIST