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25 Years In Parnell - Celebration Catalogue

In 1988 the Warwick Henderson Gallery opened in Parnell with a catalogue of fine New Zealand art from various New Zealand collections. It is fitting therefore 25 yea ...

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In 1988 the Warwick Henderson Gallery opened in Parnell with a catalogue of fine New Zealand art from various New Zealand collections. It is fitting therefore 25 years later a New Zealand Fine Art catalogue celebrates this momentous occasion. From small beginnings in an office in Emily Place Auckland in the late 1970s founder Warwick Henderson established an art trading and export company. He was asked to sell a major New Zealand art collection in the early 1980s and has specialized in selling art on behalf of collectors and estates and artists ever since.

Warwick Henderson started his dealer gallery from an award winning building in Parnell which he commissioned in 1986. The gallery was completed in 1988 and has represented artists such as Michael Illingworth, Phillip Trusttum, Nigel Brown, Mervyn Williams, Fatu Feu’u, Philippa Blair, Rozi Demant, Robin Kahukiwa and Alex Bartleet and sold work by virtually every major New Zealand artist including Charles Goldie, Colin McCahon and Francis Hodgkins.


Henderson says he has seen many changes in the market after surviving for more than 30 years in what he describes as “A “volatile” but growing industry.” I have experienced two major economic melt downs (the 1987 share market crash and the Financial Market crash of 2008) but I have always shared confidence in the market. A lot of people are quite confused by the machinations of the art market and this was one catalyst which motivated me to write a comprehensive book about it – (“Behind the Canvas”, Pub 2012) particularly the history of the industry and how it has developed.”


Favoured with instructions from the executor of an Auckland Estate the feature painting in the 2013 exhibition is a fine Gottfried Lindauer portrait. Lindauer’s portraits were commissioned in the late 19th century and early 20th century. His paintings have come under the spotlight recently in the excellent 2013 television documentary “Behind the Brush”, where Lindauer’s portraits of Maori subjects were shown to be highly prized and revered by the descendant’s and related Iwi. While Lindauer’s portraits were criticized by several contemporary arts writers and historians, his paintings are being re-evaluated in light of the burgeoning market prices for his contemporary Charles Goldie. For various reasons and while comparisons can be odious (Several of which were discussed in the documentary) Goldie’s portraits were and still are considered superior to Lindauer’s. Nevertheless Lindauer’s paintings predominately predate Goldie’s main body of work by some 25 years. One of Lindauer’s techniques involved not only copying from photographs but enhancing the sitters’ features retroactively whereby the sitter in effect appeared many years younger. This was a method which unsurprisingly drew few complaints from the sitters or indeed those who commissioned the portraits!

The painting included in this catalogue is a fine example of the artist’s work, a portrait reputedly of either Mareama Ngamai (died 1852) or her sister Mere Ngamai. This is unconfirmed as no corresponding period photos of the sitter can at this time be located. This painting comes directly from the great granddaughter of Mareama Ngamai. Further provenance and research is available on request.


Other paintings of note in the catalogue include a very rare 1950’s period Doris Lusk oil. This painting was completed the same year as the iconic “Pumping Station” work held in the collection of the Auckland Art Gallery. Lusk was not a prolific artist and paintings from this period are extremely scarce. An outstanding example of Sir Toss Woollaston’s oeuvre “Farm Shed Upper Moutere” is another fine addition to the catalogue. New Zealand’s “lost Post-Impressionist artist” Hubert Tornquist from a similar period has several paintings included in the catalogue also. Tornquist was more known as a leading commercial photographer. What is less known is the fact he was also a very fine artist, painting in a loose “post-impressionist” style. He could be regarded as a “Sunday Painter”, and although he exhibited and worked for the Auckland Society of Arts for many years, his artistic profile remained somewhat subdued. Most of his works centred around the Coromandel region and Papa Aroha where he regularly journeyed to his bach to paint.

Early oils by Dame Louise Henderson are also included in the catalogue “Cubist Woman Composition” and “Winter”. Trevor Moffitt’s paintings are eagerly sought and a classic from the Human Condition series “Language fellowship to Japan” has been entered in the catalogue also.

Other fine examples of art works by leading New Zealand artist such as Bob Ellis, Nigel Brown, Roy Good, Fatu Feu’u, Philippa Blair, Selwyn Muru, plus pots from Barry Brickell and Yvonne Rust complement the catalogue. Paintings by Gallery and guest artists are arriving as this catalogue went to print.


We look forward to you visiting the Gallery to view the exhibition.

The Exhibition opens on 11th June and is on view until 29th June 2013.

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Level 1, 255 Broadway, Newmarket, Auckland (Up the escalator by Paper Plus) All Correspondence to PO Box 37602, Parnell Auckland.

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