Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.


Hofer and Jannides

View Discussion
David Hofer, Indian Summer, 2011, acrylic, masking tape, board, 600 x 1300 mm overall David Hofer, Lido, 2011, acrylic, masking tape, board, 800 x 560 mm overall David Hofer, Untitled (yellow train), 2011, acrylic, masking tape, board, 1052 x 640 mm overall David Hofer, Train Bend Love, 2011, acrylic, masking tape, board, 500 x 1100 mm overall

Like the ‘hinged' link between the two planes in Hofer's work, Jannides has a conceptual bridge joining articulated language (that provides an origin) to experienced ‘reality' (generated from reading and transmuted into art).



David Hofer & Milli Jannides


14 April 2011 - 14 May 2011


We have in this two person show two painters who are sufficiently different to be effective foils in their methods of working - yet who also have an odd coherence, despite their diverse approaches to image construction and ways of exploiting properties of the imagination.

David Hofer uses found photographs (such as of trains, boats and buildings) to explore the nature of symmetry by painting images on doubled pale board panels - positioned in mirroring pairs vertically or horizontally, touching or carefully spaced apart. His paint is delicately thin, with an appealing glowing translucence, leaving the hovering, reversed, almost touching, images understated. Parts have been painted over but not totally hidden, as if the process is still ongoing. Sometimes one of the panels is tilted forward.

Superficially his work is akin to the photographs of Ann Shelton except his audience looks at the mirrored/paired imagery quite differently from hers. With her photography there is a calculated confusion as to which of the two images is the original source. The sequence of duplication is not obvious. With Hofer such questions don’t arise because there is a gestalt, the two panels merge mentally into one, and the components are much vaguer - floating and more abstract.

The term ekphrasis is often applied to where visual art is described through language, a scene or action (say in a print or painting) accounted for in great verbal detail. Milli Jannides reverses such a process by starting off with literature, finding vivid portions of novels from which she then proceeds to construct paintings. Like the ‘hinged’ link between the two planes in Hofer’s work, Jannides has a conceptual bridge joining articulated prose (that provides an origin) to experienced ‘reality’ (generated from reading and transmuted into art).

Many of her images are fragmented - not ‘realistic’ but piecemeal impressions - as if collected snippets of memory. These portions are strangely combined with perpendicular joins, as if out-of-sync reflections caught in a vertical window. Often the paint application has a feathery Bonnardlike softness, and with some imagery of awninged shop fronts there is more than a hint of dappled post-impressionism. Bits of tactile Dufyesque and Matissean paintwork also surface in her lightly layered composites.

While Hofer’s imagery is airy, Jannides is compact and darker. It is more overtly improvised, whereas his compositions arrived gradually, end up looking preplanned - even though that is not actually the case.

Because Hofer works with found images (as material aids) to make more images his paintings have a confidence and compelling decisiveness that Jannides’ - with no basis in drawing or preparatory studies, only her own imagination - lack. Their ad hoc construction needs more. It alone cannot help them become memorable.

John Hurrell


Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email


Recent Posts by John Hurrell


‘Take What You Have Gathered From Coincidence.’




Eight New Zealand artists and five Finnish ones

Eight Thousand Layers of Moments

15 March 2024 - 11 May 2024


Patrick Pound, Looking up, Looking Down, 2023, found photographs on swing files, 3100 x 1030 mm in 14 parts (490 x 400 mm each)

Uplifted or Down-Lowered Eyes



Patrick Pound
Just Looking

3 April 2024 - 20 April 2024

Installation view of Richard Reddaway/Grant Takle/Terry Urbahn's New Cuts Old Music installation at Te Uru, top floor. Photo: Terry Urbahn

Collaborative Reddaway / Takle / Urbahn Installation




Richard Reddaway, Grant Takle and Terry Urbahn
New Cuts Old Music


23 March - 26 May 2024

Detail of the installation of Lauren Winstone's Silt series that is part of Things the Body Wants to Tell Us at Two Rooms.

Winstone’s Delicately Coloured Table Sculptures




Lauren Winstone
Things the Body Wants to Tell Us


15 March 2024 - 27 April 2024