The exhibition Billy Apple® Six Decades 1962–2018 is taking place from 9 June to 27 July at Rossi & Rossi. Regarded as a pivotal artist in the British and New York pop and conceptual art movements of the 1960s and ’70s, Billy Apple’s examination and promotion of an identity, and his uncompromising and singular means to do so, places him amongst the most idiosyncratic artists of our time. HKAGA and Rossi & Rossi will co-present a talk by Billy Apple and Christina Barton, the exhibition’s curator on Saturday, 9 June. Don’t miss it!
DATE : Saturday, 9 June 2018
TIME : 3pm – 4pm
VENUE : Rossi & Rossi, 6 Yip Fat Street, 3/F Yally Industrial Building, Wong Chuk Hang
Language : English
About the Speakers
Billy Apple® was born Barrie Bates in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1935. He left New Zealand in 1959 to study graphic design at the Royal College of Art in London. After graduating in 1962, he changed his name to Billy Apple. In 1964, he moved to New York, where he produced pop-related paintings and objects followed by a body of neon sculptures, showing at various venues, including the Bianchini Gallery, the Howard Wise Gallery and the Pepsi-Cola Gallery.
By 1969, Apple had shifted to a more conceptual and process-oriented practice. To create a venue for his work, he established APPLE, a not-for-profit space at 161 West 23rd Street. He also exhibited at various spaces in New York’s alternative art scene, including 3 Mercer Street, Holly Solomon, Martha Jackson West and the Clocktower, and for one year, from 1975 to 1976, was director of 112 Greene Street Gallery. A major survey of Apple’s work, which brought together his British and American works from 1960 to 1974, was staged at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 1974. The artist remained in New York until 1990, continuing to exhibit his work at various venues, including Leo Castelli Gallery (in 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1984). He also made two extended tours to New Zealand in 1975 and 1979–80. Since the early 1980s, Apple has complemented his installation practice with text-based works that draw attention to the art system and highlight the artist’s social networks.
Billy Apple® became a registered trademark in 2008. The artist has worked on a range of projects to create branded products in the eight classes in which his trademark is registered, including a new breed of apple, called the ‘Billy Apple’, as well as ‘Billy Apple Cider’, ‘Billy Tea’ and ‘Apple’s Blend’, a mix of coffee beans. More recently, he has been involved in several art-science collaborations that have seen his cells immortalised, his genome sequenced and his DNA extracted and analysed for microbiome research.
Christina Barton is Director of the Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. She is a respected art historian and curator with a deep knowledge of New Zealand art and a particular interest in conceptual art and its legacies. She has written extensively on Billy Apple and curated several exhibitions, including the artist’s 2015 retrospective at Auckland Art Gallery, his largest and most comprehensive exhibition to date.