Noreen Naughton, "Irish Vista & Pine Trees," 2010. Courtesy Andrew Rose Gallery

Noreen Naughton, "Irish Vista & Pine Trees," 2010. Courtesy Andrew Rose Gallery

On First Friday, November 4th, Andrew Rose Gallery officially opened its doors to the public with Intervals, an exhibition of oil paintings and drawings by Noreen Naughton.  Recently I had the opportunity to visit the space and speak with Director Andrew Rose about his gallery.  Below is a snippet of our conversation.

Stupid question: What exactly is a gallerist?

It’s someone who has a commitment to curating work, to putting on exhibitions, to providing a critical context for art, and helping explain that to their patrons.  We do have gallerists in Hawai‘i, but they’re not necessarily where you’d find them. Inger Tully is a gallerist, even though she works at a museum; Gelareh Khoie at thirtyninehotel is a gallerist; Gaye Chan, one of my artists, is a gallerist.

So as a gallerist, what are you looking for in your artists?

I look for someone whose voice and vision interest me personally. If I don’t get intrigued or inspired by the work, I can’t work with it.  That’s the first thing: is the art good, in my opinion.  Second, are they committed to it? Have they been doing it for a long time?  I’m interested in presenting committed artists, and usually it takes until you’re thirty-something to say, “You know what? I have a job in the arts, I’ve done some shows, I’m gonna stick with this.”

Describe Andrew Rose Gallery.

The mission for the gallery is to present important artwork that has significant connections to Hawai‘i.  I’m interested in having the gallery be a space in which we see and interact with the visual culture that has developed here, and I want the core of what we do to engage with this community and its questions. The artists with whom I work are all residents here, they all absorb the energy, ideas and the imagery of this place.

Why set up in Downtown?

Everybody comes Downtown.  This corner—from Hotel and Bishop Street, to King and Bishop Street—is the crossroads of culture and commerce.  There is an extraordinary amount of visibility here.  To be a part of one of the most active places in the State made sense.

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There are galleries here in Hawai‘i.  Tell me how yours is different.

It is my understanding that nobody else properly represents artists, and we’ve begun to do that.  Noreen is now represented by the gallery.  I have work by other artists, and I look forward to representing more of the gallery artists, but that’s a major relationship change.  Representing artists is much like the way an agent in Hollywood represents an actor: their careers are in my hands.  As far as I understand, nobody has done that before.

What do you say to someone who feels intimated by the white cube gallery and contemporary art?

The elimination of visual distraction is designed to assist viewers connect with the art so they can develop their own responses and grow as a result.  Questions? We’re here to help – feel free to ask.

Intervals opened on First Friday.  What can people expect to see?

An explosively colorful body of work by an artist whose mastery of paint is exceptional.

Andrew Rose Gallery

Bishop Square – Pauahi Tower

1003 Bishop Street, Suite 120, Ground Floor

andrewrosegallery.com

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