Toss Woollaston: A Retrospective

This exhibition is now closed

Toss Woollaston: A Retrospective is the first major survey of Woollaston's career since the smaller retrospective exhibition organised by the Manawatu Art Gallery in 1973.

This large exhibition assembles a significant number of the majestic late works which will be shown publicly for the first time.

The exhibition surveys Woollaston's sixty year career as a painter and charts the key periods of his development.

Sir Tosswill Woollaston has been painting for sixty years and is regarded as one of the founders of modern art in New Zealand, and part of the 1930s generation of artists and writers who strove to emancipate their culture from its paternalistic dependence on Britain.

Woollaston has taken an independent path throughout his career and remained largely indifferent to the stylistic vagaries of late twentieth century painting. Through his paintings, Woollaston celebrates the physical nature of the world as he finds it. The disfigured, the eroded, even the "ugly" are never discounted in favour of the picturesque. Our experience of familiar natural and human landscapes is transfigured by Woollaston's art.

As well as being historically important in the development of New Zealand art, Woollaston is among this country's best known contemporary painters. His works are included in the permanent collections of every major art museum in New Zealand and found amongst major corporate collections such as the Bank of New Zealand, Fletcher Challenge and Electricorp. He is the only person in this country to have been honoured with a Knighthood for services to painting.

Toss Woollaston: A Retrospective is being toured by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the Bank of New Zealand.

('Toss Woolaston: A Retrospective', Bulletin, No.81, September/October 1992, p.1)

  • Date:
    18 September – 1 November 1992
  • Exhibition number: