Ralph Hotere

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

Kyrie Eleison 3 (Requiem Series)

  • 1974
  • Acrylic on canvas
  • Gift of C. S. Hamilton, 1982
  • Reproduced by permission of the Hotere Foundation Trust
  • 1260 x 1260mm
  • 82/01

A requiem is a Catholic mass for the souls of the dead that is performed as an act of remembrance. Ralph Hotere painted his Requiem series in 1973–4 as an elegy for composer and friend Tony Watson, who took his own life in 1973. Ralph’s use of dark, subdued tones throughout the series imbues a sense of contemplative reflection. The repetition of the title Kyrie Eleison, meaning ‘Lord, have mercy’, creates an incantation and visual rhythm, an example of the way Ralph often appropriated text to create structure and form as well as meaning.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History