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Summer Catalogue 2015/2016 - Group Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: 19 Nov 2015- 13 Feb 2016 We are pleased to present our Summer Catalogue for 2015/2016 which comprises a wide range of New Zealand art dating fro ...

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Exhibition Dates: 19 Nov 2015- 13 Feb 2016

We are pleased to present our Summer Catalogue for 2015/2016 which comprises a wide range of New Zealand art dating from the 19th century through to new work completed especially for this exhibition.

The earliest work in the exhibition is a fine work by the much under-rated NZ and Australian colonial artist Edward Aldis.  Aldis painted local scenes of Auckland before his move to Melbourne, Australia in 1889.  In 1896 he moved back to New Zealand and lived in Te Koporu, near Dargaville until 1907.  He moved back to Australia in 1907 where he lived until his decease in 1921.  Aldis was a man of many talents who was also a music teacher and an accomplished violinist playing in an orchestra in Sydney.  The painting in this exhibition is a comparatively large and fine example of the artist work of the Waikato River in the original gilded frame. His work is included in the collections of Rex Nan Kivell in the national Library of Australia, the Art Gallery of NSW, Auckland City Art Gallery, Hocken Library, University of Sydney Art Gallery, University of Melbourne Museum, and Rotorua Museum.  He also exhibited in the Victorian Artists Society 1892, and Royal Society of NSW in 1916.

To read a full and most interesting biography of the artist go to

A rare early still life “Hydrangeas” by New Zealand artist Salome Coombs is a timely addition to our summer Catalogue.  Coombs was a talented portrait and still life painter based in Hamilton, active mainly in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Coombs exhibited at the Auckland Society of Arts, the NZ Academy of fine Arts in Wellington and the Canterbury Society of Arts and a work “Marguerites” is listed in the 1934 CSA major exhibition catalogue, number 23 for 6 guineas. The work “Hydrangeas” in our catalogue is also a delightful summer still life study, and was exhibited at the Auckland Society of Arts annual show in 1941, Catalogue #58 for 6 guineas.(1)

Another artist practising from a similar period but more prominent was Auckland based artist Herbert Tornquist (1897 – 1969).  A fine painting by Herbert Tornquist “Edlinton Valley (Fiordland National Park),  dated 1945 is included in our catalogue. Highway 94, the only road through Fiordland National Park, was built in 1935.  Not long afterward in 1940 Tornquist visited the area, painting the oil “Edlinton Valley” in situ or “en plein air”.  This vibrant painting is typical of Tornquist’s loose and post-impressionist style, a style with which he excelled. Although trained at the Chicago Institute of Art, Tornquist was largely a “Sunday Painter”, painting on excursions to his bach at Papa Aroha in the Coromandel or on other trips around the country.  He nevertheless exhibited his paintings, photographs and prints regularly, and won the Bledisloe Medal Art prize in 1957.  He was a long term council member of the Auckland Society of Arts.  In October this year (2015) 80 Mohua (Yellow Head birds) were released into the Edlinton Valley to top up numbers which had declined to below 20.(2Tornquist, a lover of nature and art would have been pleased to hear of the protective measures adopted by DOC and the release of further Mohua into the Edlinton Valley some 75 years after his visit in 1940.

Sir Tosswill Woollaston needs no introduction as a major contemporary artist whose work was championed by early art dealers such as Peter McLeavy and Peter Webb in the 1960’s.  This was at a time when the contemporary art market was in its infancy in NZ and art buyers had little appetite for artwork challenging the more established “Kelliher style” artists.  The bold landscape in this catalogue is an excellent example of his work, an oil completed in the late 1940’s, reputedly of Golden Bay in Nelson.

Trevor Moffitt’s works rarely come to the market now and a major Moffitt collection gathered in the last two decades by a prominent Auckland collector has recently been donated to the Eastern Southland Public Art Gallery.  Subsequently very few of Moffitt’s works are now likely to reach the market as many are either already in public galleries or are tightly held by private collectors both in NZ and around the world.  The painting “Language Fellowship to Japan” is a work from the “Human Condition” series which depicts the protagonist as a young girl heading off to Japan on an exchange student scholarship.  The familiar Air NZ Koru and insignia appears in the background on the tail of the waiting aircraft.

Other fine recent or new original paintings consigned for the exhibition from artists or Vendors include works by Roy Good, Viki Garden, Paratene Matchitt, Allen Maddox, Max Gimblett, Rozi Demant, Rosanne Croucher, Rieko Woodford-Robinson, Grace Wright and Mark Wooller, are a must see.  The range and quality of these paintings is quite outstanding. Reiko Woodford Robinson is a master of animation and her paintings depict the characterisation of highly detailed dressed animals. The artist invests many weeks developing each painting, building up the paint surface and over glazing to effect a very realistic finish to the character-in particular the face and fur of the animal. Reiko has a waiting list for her work and we are pleased to have this painting consigned for the Summer Catalogue as a precursor to her solo show later next year.  A new work by Tyrone Layne has also been consigned for our Summer show, appropriately a beach scene of Takapuna Beach.  Layne recently had a sell-out show at the Other Art Fair held in Sydney in September.

A further feature of this catalogue is the inclusion of 6 scarce original prints and works on paper by artists Robin White, Nigel Brown, Ralph Hotere, Keith Patterson and Fatu Feu’u. Robin White (B1946 NZ) has been a leading New Zealand artist and printmaker since the 1970’s, and her distinctive clear edged landscapes featuring iconic aspects of rural NZ reflect in many ways the work of influential regional artists such as Rita Angus, Rata Lovell-Smith, Don Binney and Michael Smither.  The original coloured print in this exhibition “At the Bay Portobello”, 1972 is a typical example of Whites distinctive work from this period. Apart from similarities in style, these artist philosophies also are also in accordance where the conservation of land and lifestyle are addressed.  White states “ I’ve had a pretty close involvement with the landscape since I was a  kid….for a while we went to live in Redmond, a little town on the coast, west of Hamilton, on a harbour much like Portobello, Dunedin, I started to feel really close to the hills and got to really love the quiet.  I found it conducive to painting, thinking, creating. I work much better out in the country” (3) A further superb example in the catalogue of Whites printmaking is “Remembering Childhood Nightmares, Mt Eden”.  Robin Whites work is relatively scarce as most print editions were restricted by the artist to less than 50. Other quality prints include a hand coloured print “Aoetearoa, Being Here” by Nigel Brown, Picnic at Woodhaugh” by Ralph Hotere, and “Matua Atua” by Fatu Feu’u.

Other paintings are still to arrive for this comprehensive collection of NZ paintings and prints.  Please check the website for additions throughout the holiday period.  We look forward to seeing you and take this opportunity to wish you Merry Xmas and a Happy Holiday season.

Text: Warwick Henderson Nov 2015

Auckland Society of arts Exhibition List H to Z, Auckland Art Gallery – Auckland Art
Mohua Population gets a boost in the Eglinton Valley – Department of Conservation press release 16.10.2015
Art and Conservation are synonymous Robin white, Art NZ Magazine, Issue #7, P40.

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