Ralph Hotere

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1931, d.2013
Te Aupōuri

Drawing For Requiem Series

  • William A. Sutton bequest, 2000
  • Reproduced by permission of the Hotere Foundation Trust
  • Watercolour and ink on paper
  • 507 x 710mm
  • 2000/76
  • 1974

Ralph Hotere’s Requiem Series of paintings of 1973–74 refers to the Catholic mass for the dead and his use of dark, subdued tones throughout the series imbues a sense of contemplative reflection. In this related drawing, flowing watercolour washes are overlaid with precisely executed pinstripe lines of paint creating a striking contrast between the spontaneous and the orderly.

Hotere (of Aupouri descent) was born in Taikarawa, in Northland. A New Zealand Art Societies Fellowship Scholarship in 1961 enabled him to travel to London to study at the Central School of Art. He also travelled extensively throughout Europe. Hotere returned to New Zealand in 1965 and from 1969 was based in Dunedin. His work dealt with environmental issues, politics, poetry, religion, colonialism and racism. The Arts Foundation of New Zealand listed him as an inaugural Icon Artist in 2003.