Russell Clark

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1905, d.1966

Untitled [T & G Mural]

  • Presented by Kent Prier Real Estate Ltd, 1992
  • Mixed media
  • 3880 x 3500 x 150mm
  • 92/61.a-d
  • 1958

Russell Clark’s spectacular composite mural, a modernist architectural relic, was created to decorate the foyer of the (now demolished) T & G Insurance Building in Ōtautahi / Christchurch. It was one of many murals by Clark, who was a painter, sculptor, illustrator and art school university lecturer. Against a variegated green background, juxtaposed raised amorphous and geometric shapes resemble fish, fishhooks and whakairo (carving) motifs. Clark has also used pieces of domestic crockery to make ceramic mosaics. Completing the arrangement are hand-worked amoeba-like forms in copper, pewter and brass. This mural reveals Clark’s active engagement with Pacific forms and his keen sense of the 1950s moderne architectural moment.

(Te Wheke, 2020)