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2012 Winter Catalogue

Exhibition Dates: 8 July - 28 July 2012 Our 2012 Winter Catalogue includes many fine examples of several important New Zealand artists such as Sir Toss Woollaston ...

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Exhibition Dates: 8 July – 28 July 2012

Our 2012 Winter Catalogue includes many fine examples of several important New Zealand artists such as Sir Toss Woollaston, Milan Mrkusich, Leo Bensemann and Shane Cotton.

While Toss Woollaston’s nemesis Douglas Badcock is not represented this year, his son John Badcock is, with a fine and powerful recent painting entitled Afternoon Burn-off. Another artist who painted at the same time as Badcock senior and Woollaston was Leo Bensemann (1912-1986) who shared a studio with Rita Angus in Christchurch in the late 1930’s. Bensemann’s works rarely enter the secondary market. A painting from his estate collection Central Otago Gold Diggings, St Bathans, 1966, is included in the catalogue. Four fine Woollastons’ are also included, an outstanding oil of Bayleys’ Hill (illustrated front cover) and a fine example of his watercolour sketches, Takaka Landscape.

Major New Zealand abstract and colourfield artist Milan Mrkusich has submitted three fine examples of his work for the catalogue. Mrkusich was one of the forerunners of abstract painting in New Zealand along with John Weeks, Dame Louise Henderson and Colin McCahon in the 1950’s. Abstract art was ground breaking stuff in New Zealand in the 1950’s, yet Mrkusich’s abstracts go back to the 1940’s. In the excellent monograph written by Alan Wright and Edward Hanfling “Mrkusich, The Art of Transformation” the authors state… “It was only in the late 1960’s when he joined the Barry Lett Galleries that Mrkusich was properly represented by a dealer. Moreover, his four shows there (1966-1970) merely proved that abstraction was stillincomprehensible to many and almost impossible to sell”. (1) Mrkusich’s work has not only endured but now sells for significant amounts (e.g. Centre with Elements $63,000 IAC 12.4.2011.) Another abstract painting included in the catalogue is a small work by Agnes Wood, (Triple confrontation I 1979), a result of McCahon’s influence during her studies at Elam in the early 1970’s. Agnes Wood later went on to write a biography of Colin McCahon in 1997(2). This charming study is very much in the style of McCahon’s White Diamond 1961 (after Mondrian).

Other abstract artists included in the catalogue are Mervyn Williams with Ono 2011 and young artist Nick Wall with Angelic Automatic 2012. These artists together with Geoff Thornley, Roy Good, Max Gimblett and Stephen Bambury are some of New Zealand’s finest exponents of the colourfield/abstract genre. Less subtle in her approach, but no less effective, is abstract/expressionist painter Philippa Blair. Recent paintings Turnabout and Red Alert embrace the artists gestural paint layering and mark making technique where there is an obvious physical and emotional attachment to each work. New paintings by emerging artists Amy Melchior and Chris Pole are fine additions to the catalogue also.

Painters and sculptors expressing other ideas, concepts and narratives are iconic South Pacific artists such as Fatu Feu’u, Shane Cotton, Robyn Kahukiwa, Mark Wooller, Nigel Brown and Robert Jahnke, who all have paintings or sculpture included in this catalogue. These artists employ symbols, figures, text and other more immediate imagery in their artworks. A different approach and format has been adopted by innovative artist Robert Jahnke who has employed engraved text together with a detailed Hei Tiki in each of his cast bronze trowels. These unusual castings incorporate turned Rewarewa handles which provide a lasting integrity not always apparent in concepts of this nature.

We look forward to your interest in this diverse and quality selection of contemporary New Zealand Artworks.

1. “Mrkusich – The Art of Transformation” Alan Wright and Edward Hanfling, Auckland University Press, 2009

2. “Colin McCahon, The Man and the Teacher”, Agnes Wood, David Ling Publishing Ltd, 1997

All artworks are available for immediate sale.

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