Items from the archives

New Zealand art: a centennial exhibition

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The catalogue of the 1940 centennial art exhibition, directed and organized by A H McLintock

New Zealand art: a centennial exhibition

Items from the archives
New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, pages 246-265
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Robert McDougall's cheque
Items from the archives
Mentions of the Gallery in 'the Press' 1955-1995

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Cass
Rita Angus Cass

In 1930s New Zealand there was wide discussion about what was unique about the New Zealand situation; what it was that made us different from the rest of the world. Artists and writers began exploring ways to identify our national identity. A number of artists began painting the Canterbury High Country, most famously Rita Angus and her landscape painting of the railway station at Cass. One reviewer in 1936 observed that there was a new quality in the landscapes exhibited in Christchurch that seemed ‘to consist in a removal of the romantic mists which used to obscure mountains and the Canterbury countryside generally. The light now is clear and hard, the colours are in flat planes, and the effect is of seeing the country through a gem-like atmosphere. There is also a new romantic standpoint – an insistence on the isolation and brooding loneliness of the hills.’ It’s a statement that certainly rings true with the Canterbury paintings of Rita Angus, Leo Bensemann, Louise Henderson, Rata Lovell-Smith and Bill Sutton.

(March 2018)