Bill Sutton

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1917, d.2000

Read more about this artist on Wikipedia


  • 1941
  • Linocut
  • Gifted by Florence Akins, 1997
  • 380 x 280mm
  • 97/09

About the artist

Sutton, William Alexander (Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1917, d.2000)

Waitaha Canterbury artist Bill Sutton was a painter first and foremost, but he also produced numerous linocuts throughout the 1940s, many of which he used as Christmas cards – signalling the democratic nature of printmaking. Bill and fellow printmaker Hilda Wiseman regularly sent each other Christmas cards, several of which are included in Ink on Paper. Bill was interested in plants, particularly those from the Canterbury region – this linocut is a good examples, with Grass in Flower seeming to anticipate his later Grass series of paintings of the late 1960s.

Ink on Paper: Aotearoa New Zealand Printmakers of the Modern Era, 11 February – 28 May 2023

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • The popularity of the linocut in Britain during the 1920s and 1930s had carried over into the New Zealand art scene by the 1930s. During the 1940s William Sutton would often produce a linocut each Christmas for use as a hand-printed card for his friends.

    In many ways this linocut, which focuses on several barley heads, anticipates Sutton’s large series of paintings titled Grasses, which he completed during the late 1960s.

    Born in Christchurch, Sutton studied at the Canterbury College School of Art. He was tutored by many well-known Christchurch artists, including Colin Lovell-Smith (1894–1960), Archibald Nicoll (1886–1953) and Cecil Kelly (1870–1954). In 1946 Sutton began exhibiting with The Group, an informal art association formed in Christchurch in 1927. Returning from his travels in Europe, he taught painting at the School of Art from 1949 until 1979.

    (Label date unknown)