As Stark and Grey as Stalin's Uniform

Heading along to the stunning Rita Angus: Life & Vision survey exhibition at the Gallery in 2009 I always had this nagging feeling that one work was missing from the walls – Angus’s Gasworks from 1933. This painting was one that I knew only through the black and white image that appeared first in a volume of Art in New Zealand in 1933; the same reproduction that was later used in Jill Trevelyan’s excellent biography of Angus and also in the catalogue for the National Art Gallery’s 1982 retrospective, Rita Angus. For the New Zealand art historian, Gasworks was a kind of legend – painted by one of the country’s best artists yet seen in person by only a very few. In 1975, when Gordon H. Brown curated New Zealand Painting 1920–1940: Adaption and Nationalism, Gasworks was listed as ‘location unknown’ in the accompanying catalogue. Amazingly the painting was also not included in the retrospective exhibition of 1982. We had grown to know this painting purely through a grainy black and white illustration from 1933. But the painting was never lost – Gasworks is a painting that has been cherished, protected and loved by the same Christchurch family since the early 1940s. And now, having been placed on loan to Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, it is available for the public to view for the first time since 1933, when it was shown at the Canterbury Society of Arts.

Continued
Notes
ReMix Film Fest

ReMix Film Fest

Listen up all you budding directors and auteurs! As part of ReMix on 18 July, we’re running a short film competition for young filmmakers aged between 13 and 18.

Commentary
The World Tossed Continuously in a Riot of Colour, Form, Sound

The World Tossed Continuously in a Riot of Colour, Form, Sound

One hundred and twenty five years ago, after years of political struggle, Aotearoa New Zealand granted all adults the right to vote by extending suffrage to women. To mark this anniversary, for this issue of Bulletin our curators have written about some of the Gallery’s significant – yet lesser-known – nineteenth and mid-twentieth-century works by women. Our intention is to make these paintings, and the cultural contribution of the artists, more visible in 2018.

Notes
Award wins!

Award wins!

We’re delighted to announce that Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū has won a number of accolades at the 21st Museums Australasia Multimedia & Publication Design Awards. The prestigious annual awards celebrate excellence in the Australasian museum sector and were presented on Tuesday evening during a gala dinner in Melbourne.

Supporter
Brent Williams

Brent Williams
Christchurch Art Gallery Foundation

My favourite artwork is Michael Parekowhai’s Chapman’s Homer – no question. It symbolises the strength of the bull and the strength of Christchurch post-earthquake. I’ve been involved with the Foundation since early 2015 and love what the Foundation is achieving post-earthquake. I enjoy being involved with an organisation that is attracting people back into the city.

Notes
Familiar landscape for our new director

Familiar landscape for our new director

Blair Jackson has been appointed the new director of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.

Exhibition
We Do This

We Do This

A recharged contemporary hang to mark 125 years of women’s suffrage.

Collection
Untitled
Séraphine Pick Untitled

The focus of this painting is largely psychological. Figures and objects appear to emerge and recede between layers of paint, suggesting visions, memories or dreams, some of which are remembered clearly and others that return only as fragments. Although Séraphine Pick’s painting offers the viewer a choice of many possible interpretations, one obvious theme is that of changing or uncertain identity, shown in the concealment of faces through masks or blurring. Pick has painted some forms and figures onto wet paint, creating a faint, ethereal effect. Spaces are deliberately vague and planes overlap and interpenetrate with an individual logic and seemingly casual randomness which creates its own tensions and ambiguities.

Pick was born in Kawakawa in the Bay of Islands and graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1988. She was the recipient of the Olivia Spencer Bower Award in 1994 and in 1995 was chosen as the Rita Angus Artist in Residence. Pick was the Frances Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago in 1999.

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