Philippa Blair

b.1945

Anasazi

  • Purchased, 1992
  • Lithograph
  • 530 x 720mm
  • 92/22:1-6
  • 1991
earlier labels about this work
  • Painters as Printmakers, 19 October 2007 - 20 January 2008

    Philippa Blair has collaborated with several print workshops, including Muka Studio in Auckland and with Marian Maguire firstly at Limeworks then PaperGraphica in Christchurch. While Blair has worked with screenprints, it is lithography that captivated her and has become the most prominent form of printmaking in her work. Blair’s abstract paintings are expressive and brightly coloured with lively surfaces, and it is these elements that she successfully brings to her lithographs.

    The Anasazi were an ancient American Indian people, and both these works draw on elements from their culture – such as the nest-shape which references shelter and nurturing. As with Blair’s paintings, her lithographs are often heavily layered, both physically and symbolically. In Anasazi she incorporates multiple layers of tushe washes overlaid with more gestural, directly drawn marks.

    Blair was born in Christchurch and graduated from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1967. She is a prolific artist, and while painting is her primary interest she has also produced an extensive body of prints. Blair has travelled and exhibited widely, particularly in the United States where she currently lives.

  • The Anasazi were an ancient American Indian people whose sacred site was at Four Corners in New Mexico. The site has been scarred and contaminated by atomic testing, power plants and oil wells and is now referred to as a National Sacrifice area. Philippa Blair has used images from the Anasazi culture, such as the circle that refers to Mother Earth (Gaia), and the ladder that represents a transition from earth to the spiritual realm. The lithograph is abstract and linear, with an expressive use of line and tone. Anasazi is part of a series of paintings and works on paper that explore the history of the Four Corners site. Blair is a significant New Zealand artist whose practice is a constantly evolving process of experimentation and investigation. Her paintings explore the very heart of a place, its cultural, historical and spiritual significance. Blair was born in Christchurch and graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1967. She has travelled extensively and has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally. (2003)