|The new wing, Auckland Art Gallery|
The new spaces are strikingly modern and upmarket, but the interior contrast between new and old is not jarring. From the outside the shift from stonemasonry to ultra-modern might be problematic, but realistically there isn't much of a vantage point to view the whole structure, because the building stretches along the narrow Kitchener Street.
|The original gallery building|
Three new art installations impressed me on my first visit: Choi Jeong Hwa's Flower Chandelier and Red, and Jeppe Hein's Long Modified Bench Auckland. These definitely have the potential to become attractions in their own right, and it's only a pity that a delightful work like Flower Chandelier will only be on display in the gallery for a year. I expect its constantly inflating and deflating petals will need patching up after a full year of display.
|'Long Modified Bench Auckland'|
|Exterior roof detail|
The refurbished Art Gallery will boost Auckland's status as a city that respects culture, and will act as a popular tourist attraction too. I will definitely be paying another visit to its collections the next time I'm up in Auckland, because there's still plenty more to see. It's heartening to think that Auckland finally has an art gallery that can be considered world class.