Tony Fomison

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1939, d.1990

Taranaki: your History Goes Way Back

  • Purchased, 1985
  • Lithograph
  • 470 x 330mm
  • 85/23:12-13
  • 1984

Tony Fomison was interested in issues of multiculturalism and a constant source of imagery in his work comes from Maori and Pacific subjects. Often his art combined myths or traditional narratives with the human figure. The grainy effect of drawing on the lithographic stone ideally suited Fomison’s unique, often dark, style, with its emphasis on line and shading. Some of the prints are drawn with a minimalist, sketch-like hand and have an almost unfinished feel about them, giving a sense of disintegration, yet there is no doubt he was always in control of the medium. Fomison was born in Christchurch and studied sculpture at the University of Canterbury. Travelling on an Arts Advisory Board grant, he went on to study in England and Europe, where he was influenced by the Old Masters. In 1973 Fomison moved to Auckland where he continued his lifelong interest in Maori and Polynesian cultures.