New Zealand Pictorialists

This exhibition is now closed

Pictorialism is a term which describes the first international movement in photography, a movement which sought artistry and expression in photography beyond the mechanical and factual images that were produced by the camera. The pictorial movement originated in England as a reaction against the growing scenic and commercial emphasis placed on photography at the expense of artistic achievement.

New Zealand Pictorialists at the gallery from January 30 to March 28, is an exhibition of work by New Zealand photographers who were a part of the pictorical movement between 1905-1965. It examines 30 of the country's leading professional and amateur pictorialists and demonstrates how their romanticised outlook affected the style of their photographs.

As a pictorialist, the photographer selected and composed a subject according to certain principles, eliminating unwanted elements with a series of manipulative techniques.

This is the first time a representative selection of pictorial work has been assembled. The photographs included in the exhibition are all vintage prints assess a style of photograph which has been traditionally undervalued and which no longer exists.

For those who enjoyed In Our Time last year, New Zealand Pictorialists provides an interesting comparison. This exhibition is touring nationally and has been curated by the New Zealand Centre for Photography in Wellington.

('New Zealand Pictorialists', Bulletin, No.83, January/February 1993, p.2)