Rest In Peace Ralph
We're all so saddened to hear of the death of Ralph Hotere yesterday.
Ralph Hotere Black Painting (1969) Acrylic on canvas. Collection Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, William A. Sutton Bequest, 2000.
Ralph was one of New Zealand's finest artists and one whose art, whenever I have ever had the opportunity to view it, has always struck a chord. His work is greatly appreciated by many New Zealanders from many different backgrounds. Ralph's work could be public – loud and overtly political, when he commented on such issues as racism, nuclear weapons or Governments screwing up the environment as with the proposed aluminium smelter at Aramoana, or the idea of building a dam on the Waitaki river.
But he also produced works that were so quiet and reflective, the Black Painting series of the late 1960s in particular. Their ever diminishing rippling concentric circles, work on an incredibly personal level.
Ralph didn't like the limelight but he was a fantastic host with an incredibly generous spirit and a good friend to many throughout New Zealand. The thoughts of all of us at Christchurch Art Gallery go out to Ralph's family and friends.
Marti Friedlander Ralph Hotere - The Artist's Studio, Port Chalmers (1979) photograph. Collection Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, purchased 1998.