Greer Twiss, A Survey 1959-1981

18 March – 18 April 1983

This exhibition of sculpture and drawings by Greer Twiss, organised by the Wellington City Art Gallery, offers us a rare opportunity to see a comprehensive survey of work produced by one of New Zealand's leading sculptors. During the twenty years surveyed we are shown a number of changes in style, technique, subject matter and treatment of materials as a number of interesting ideas and developments are explored. Central to these has been a consistent concern with movement, the way in which we perceive things and the visual, mental and language relationship between the different ideas and objects.

Over the years the works have become more abstract but they are still clearly related to familiar devices and tools. In the earlier works we see Twiss exploring the movements of athletes with straining figures, muscles stretching to breaking point and expressed in the fluid brass forms of a lost wax casting. In later works the ambiguities in the properties and appearances of different materials are explored as soft elements, knotted ropes, cloth and cushions are direct cast in hard metal.

The most recent series 'Tripods' form a fitting climax to the exhibition. The human figure having gradually been reduced and finally removed is now evoked by reference to simple tools. In commanding long-legged constructions "too tall for human use, and the elements on top . . . have no obvious function – yet the total aesthetic is utilitarian, with elements all usable objects.

Greer Twiss was born in Auckland in 1937. He attended the Auckland School of Art between 1956-59 graduating with a Diploma of Fine Arts. In 1965 he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council travel grant which enabled him to study foundry techniques in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. In 1966 he joined the staff of the School of Fine Arts in Auckland where he is now Head of the Sculpture Department.

('Greer Twiss, A survey 1959–1981', Bulletin, No.26, March/April 1983, p.2)