But is it art? orange, magenta, dark blue

Year: 2003
Completed: 01/11/2003
Ontology: Limited edition
Edition: But is it art?
In edition: 5

Medium: Acrylic and lead pencil on linen; watercolour and lead pencil on paper (framed)

HxWxD cm: Alternate setup arrangements with different resulting measurements
Components: 4
Collection: Private collection: Sydney, 2003


‘But is it art?’ asked the Art Judge with a penetrating stare that scrutinised this page. ‘Well it was some moments ago before three of its circles went missing’, replied the Art Defence somewhat distractedly while desperately looking under books and chairs for the missing circles. ‘We’ve put ‘wanted’ posters up – with a reward. So if you don’t mind waiting a little we expect you’ll soon be able to decide.’

[floorplan details]

  • where the Art Judge walked past the ‘wanted’ circles hanging on a wall but was too scandalised by their disappearance to notice
  • where the Art Defence looked up possible precedents for claiming the ‘presence’ of the ‘non-present’ circles in the ‘Encyclopaedia of Art that is Present, but Missing’
  • row of watercolour ‘wanted’ posters
  • chairs
  • books 
  • table
  • missing orange circle
  • missing magenta circle
  • missing dark blue circle
Qty ID Medium HxWxD cm
1 Encyclopaedia

watercolour and lead pencil on paper

250h x 450w mm (350h x 550w x 43d mm framed)
1 orange circle

acrylic on linen

85h x 130diam mm
1 magenta circle

acrylic on linen

100h x 100diam mm
1 dark blue circle

acrylic on linen

70h x 70diam mm
07/11/2003 But is it art?, The Cross Art Projects, Sydney
George Alexander, Primed Suspects: Gail Hastings’ Sculptural Situations’, But is it Art?: Sculptural Situations by Gail Hastings, exhibition catalogue, The Cross Art Projects, Sydney 2003.
Lisa Kelly, ‘If Anything.’, in Gwynneth Porter and Dan Arps (ed.), Natural Selection Magazine, issue 1, 2004, pp.7.1–7.2 http://naturalselection.org.nz/archive/1/1.7_Lisa_Ruark.pdf.
Ruark Lewis, ‘An emailed note concerning an art talk by Gail Hastings’, in Gwynneth Porter and Dan Arps (ed.), Natural Selection Magazine, issue 1, 2004, p.7.3, http://naturalselection.org.nz/archive/1/1.7_Lisa_Ruark.pdf.