Paul Cullen Archive

Paul Cullen Archive is an ongoing archival project working with the artworks, drawings, photographs, negatives, workbooks, unrealised projects, research and ephemera of New Zealand artist Paul Cullen (1949–2017). Collected, produced and accumulated by Cullen over a period of more than forty years, this material dates back to his art school days at Ilam School of Fine Arts in Canterbury New Zealand during the 1970s. This website is a work in progress and new content and information is being added to over time. It is intended to give an overview of Cullen's practice only, a more detailed and extensive offline database of his work is also being developed. Read more...

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Paul Cullen’s art, like that of Duchamp before him, (perhaps with a dash of Dada) was as playfully mischievous as it was cerebral, in love with paradox and unusual juxtapositions, documenting the Western world through a subtle critique of its material semiotics, from Formica tables, books, pencils and rulers, to the natural world, to the cult of scientism, and a general sense of precariousness and ephemerality. A bundle of canes might represent the universe, or at the very least measure it out. Like a good ironic pragmatist, he was interested in the processes and knowledges by which humans attempt to answer the big questions, rather than fussing over an ultimate, capital “T” Truth that might not even exist in the first place. Read more...