AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND.- Auckland Art Gallery is proud to launch Reading Room, a new journal of art and culture. Gallery director Chris Saines says the ambitious new publication is a major contribution to contemporary art scholarship.
Reading Room is intended to both stimulate new writing and provide an outlet for current research, he says.
Published annually by the gallerys E H McCormick Research Library, Reading Room is one of only a handful of refereed art journals in Australasia, and the only one international in scope.
Managing editor Catherine Hammond says that because the journal is peer-reviewed, it can attract the best art writers - and raise the bar for emerging writers. The idea was conceived by the gallerys former contemporary curator Robert Leonard and came to fruition thanks the generosity of Dr John Mayo. The Queensland academic has established Reading Room in memory of his wife Marylyn and her mother Mavis Mason, in recognition of their lifelong interest in the visual arts. The first issue, edited by Tina Barton, Wystan Curnow and Robert Leonard, focuses on the theme Autobiography in the Wake of Conceptualism.
The 184 page journal contains colour illustrations and eight essays from top writers including Mieke Bal (Holland), Susan Best (Australia) and Charles Reeve (Canada), writing about artists including Louise Bourgeois (France), On Kawara (Japan), Mike Parr (Australia) and Ricky Swallow (Australia/NZ).
Launched at the start of the academic year, Reading Room will be distributed to universities and galleries worldwide. Copies will be on sale at specialist bookshops from the end of the month for $25.