Boom: Banking on Art in the 80s

21 January – 28 March 2005

A rarely seen corporate collection from the Bank of New Zealand, acquired during the investment boom of the 1980s.

A rarely seen corporate collection from the Bank of New Zealand, acquired during the investment boom of the 1980s.

The idea of art as investment exploded in the 1980s as bull markets and swift economic growth encouraged the century's greatest corporate spending spree. It was a timely moment for the Bank of New Zealand to establish its collection.

Developed over a five-year period, the collection grew rapidly to comprise nearly 500 paintings. One of the country's most important art collections, it contains works by many significant New Zealand contemporary artists and represents the major developments in New Zealand painting.

By the 1980s, New Zealand art had come of age. No longer bound to conform to overseas models or adhere to any nationalistic agenda, the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s marked a greater freedom of expression in the visual arts. Works from these decades dominate the collection.

BOOM presents 22 paintings from the collection, selected as examples of the principal aesthetic styles of the period, from minimalism through abstract figuration to realism.

The exhibition brings together the foremost names in contemporary New Zealand art – Leo Bensemann, Julian Dashper, Tony Fomison, Pat Hanly, Ralph Hotere, Allen Maddox, Colin McCahon, Milan Mrkusich, Don Peebles, Glenda Randerson, Michael Smither, Geoff Thornley and Philip Trusttum. Many of these artists are also represented in the Gallery's collections.

 

Read about the BNZ Collection