When I visited Paris after the Biennale, I enjoyed a memorable evening with New Zealand painter and long-time Paris resident, Douglas MacDiarmid. The Gallery bought a small work of his from the estate of Albion Wright about a year ago for the Norman Barrett bequest collection. They all knew each other, so it was apt.
He has fond memories of being in Christchurch and welcomed the chance of reconnecting again. I gave him Peter Simpson's book on Leo Bensemann, which accompanied one of the three exhibitions truncated after only a few days by the February earthquake, and one or two other publications. He was so pleased to be transported, as he put it in a subsequent email, '... back to my youth, on diving into the Bensemann world, its attraction undiminished. ... in those years are my true roots. Christchurch resonates in me regardless of the when & where since.'
I took a picture of him in his apartment, surrounded by his abstract paintings. He loves rugs and certainly doesn't look or seem his age, so life in Paris must be good. For me it was rewarding time with one of the best.