Julian Dashper

Untitled (2006)

rabbit skin size on Belgian linen
300mm x 300mm x 45mm


Private collection, Auckland.


Another from the edition held by Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (acquired 2007).


Christopher Cook and David Raskin, Midwestern Unlike You and Me: New Zealand’s Julian Dashper (Sioux City: Sioux City Art Center, 2005), 29.


“Someone asked me once at a party ‘What sort of artist are you?’ and I said, ‘I’m a super-realist painter,’ and they said, ‘Well, that sounds good, what do you pai...

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Estimate $2,000 - $3,000
Achieved $3,517.50

Julian Dashper

Blue Circles #4


polycarbonate clear 12" lathe-cut disc, cardboard cover and insert in plastic sleeve, from edition of 20

325mm x 317mm

Auction N˚4

Estimate $500 - $1,000

Achieved $1,172.50

  1. Mark Kirby, “Pop’s art,” in Julian Dashper, Christina Barton, Trevor Smith, Mark Kirby, The Twist (Dunedin: Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 2000), 27.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Christina Barton, “Zero-ing in: on Julian Dashper,” in Dashper et. al., The Twist, 14.
  4. Robert Leonard, “Re-reading Julian Dashper’s The Big Bang Theory,” Reading Room 5 (2012): 98–117.
  5. National Library of New Zealand website, accessed 31/10/2016.
  6. Barton, “Zero-ing in on Julian Dashper,” 11.

Dashper’s Abstraction

by Andrew Clark

“Someone asked me once at a party ‘What sort of artist are you?’ and I said, ‘I’m a super-realist painter,’ and they said, ‘Well, that sounds good, what do you paint?’ I said, ‘Abstract art.’”
-Julian Dashper¹

The three works presented here fit Dashper’s self-affixed label as a “super-realist” painter of abstractions perfectly; not paintings, but representations of paintings, or perhaps of the idea of painting.

Untitled (2006) consists of two stretched, sized linen canvases, stacked together and secured with screws. The status of these canvases as pre-fabricated readymades, which could have easily been purchased from any high street art supplies shop, constitutes a key element of the work. As a literal tabula rasa, the work rejects the act of reading, while at the same time presenting a blank surface, almost daring the viewer to create their own painting on its neutral tone. The only evidence of the artist’s hand, the gesture of stacking, suggests the reproducibility of the canvases, as well as their status as ready-mades and their interchangeability. This work is emblematic of Dashper’s approach, echoing his statement that “I don’t make work in the abstract way, but I actually make abstract art. . . . I’m making it like a thing, like a chair or table.”²  Here, Dashper draws a distinction between being an abstractionist and being a maker of abstractions; he sees the abstract vocabulary as a given fact of life, to the extent that it is possible to manufacture abstract paintings the way one might produce household goods.