I’m Doing Nothing Wrong, a new exhibition by John Reynolds at the Sue Crockford Gallery
I¹m Doing Nothing Wrong is an exhibition of new work by John Reynolds. It includes a series of large, acrylic
enamel-on-canvas paintings (each 150 by 100 cm), supplemented by a group of smaller works on canvas (each 10 by 10 cm).
One of the paintings, titled ŒDesert Road¹ from 2003, displays a wildly sweeping silver painted cross, applied in a
seemingly hasty, graffitilike manner. Often leaving trails of drips, it registers Reynolds' broader intention of
subverting the conventions of late modernist abstraction and its accompanying mythologies of originality, purity and
Reynolds' goals are also clear in the visually complex text works, where silver painted words take on a ghostly
appearance in relation to beautifully painted surface. These wonderfully irreverent works look like the aftermath of an
all-out assault on the field of painting. Reynolds is at his best when using his arsenal of pictorial devices to signal
basic tensions between painting and drawing.
John Reynolds¹ self-reflexive text paintings, full of rambling thoughts, are brilliant and often hilarious. Reynolds
reveals himself in such an engaging, humorous way that his works excite viewer curiosity, not just about the banal
details of his life, but about the phenomenon of exhibitionism itself. With his own peculiar mix of confidence and
self-deprecation, he seems to fashion a tongue-in-cheek critique of those who take themselves too seriously.
Frequently, Reynolds takes bits from various songs to make his own new (dare we say improved?) compositions. Reading in
an earnest and cloying manner, Reynolds mixes bold statements with verbose sentimental hokum. He says, "God Made Me
Funky" and answers "You Must Think I¹m Crazy" He addresses Colin McCahon as if praying: "Give Me Something I Can
John Reynolds. Born in Auckland in 1956. Reynolds received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland in
1978 and first exhibited in 1980. Since then he has shown widely. His most recent solo exhibitions are Harry Human
Heights, Artspace, 2001; K, Rd to Kingdom Come, Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, 2001; and Hevn, Adam Art
Gallery, Wellington, 2002. Reynolds won the Lindauer Art Award in 1988 and the Visa Gold Art Award in 1993, and was a
finalist in the Walters Prize, 2002. His paintings are rich with literary, religious, arthistorical and architectural
allusions. They range in scale from works on postcards and stamps to the 2 x 12 metre painting, Hope Street. Reynolds
collaborated with the painter Ralph Hotere on the multi-paneled Winter Chrysanthemums, 1995 and also with the poet Leigh
Davis on his boxed set of poems The Book of Hours, 2002. He lives and works in Auckland.
Exhibition opening: Tuesday 16 September, 5.30 - 7pm
Exhibition dates: 16 Sept 11 October, 2003
Gallery hours: Tuesday - Friday 11am - 5pm, Saturday 11am - 3pm