Doris Lusk and W. A. Sutton: Venice Observed

14 August – 25 September 1986

Showing concurrently with Canaletto: Master of Venice, is an exhibition of Venetian works by two leading New Zealand artists Doris Lusk and W. A. Sutton. Theirs are an Antipodean response 230 years or so after the views of that famed city were depicted by the eighteenth century Italian master.

During an eight month tour of Italy from December 1973, W. A. Sutton immersed himself in the country's architecture and culture. At every step of his trip he completed extraordinarily detailed watercolour studies of his surroundings. The watercolours which have been selected for this exhibition depict the city's ornate architecture and its elaborate design features, highlighting his exquisite skill and ability as a draughtsman and watercolourist.

In contrast to Sutton's varied views of the city's buildings, the works of Doris Lusk concentrate on a specific feature of them. Lusk spent almost a month in Venice during an art tour of Italy, from late 1974 to September 1975 and was taken by the sight of the light canvas awnings, which hang in the arcades of piazzas to keep them cool. The works belong to a series entitled Arcade Awnings and result from many sketches made over weeks of direct study of these drapes of voluminous fabric. They are considered some of her most remarkable paintings to date.