These essays are the ones I wish I’d had access to when I first became interested in New Zealand art. Intended as short and engaging primers, I hope they encourage readers to seek out more books and information about each of the artists. I intend to continually add essays.
John Drawbridge Drawbridge’s art stands as one of the best reminders of why the art market is often the worst guide of all to finding the most important and powerful art. For those with eyes of their own, able to look at art without a dealer in their ear or an auction catalogue before them, he has so much to give.
Don Driver Don Driver occupies a corner of New Zealand’s art history that we haven’t yet come to terms with. Looking at his works it can be easy to forget that he was contemporaneous with McCahon, Angus and Woollaston.
Colin McCahon The task in writing about McCahon is to be transparent about whether one is speaking of McCahon or “McCahon”—McCahon the painter or “McCahon” the nationalistic idea. I write here on the former.
Gordon Walters Of all the New Zealand artists, Gordon Walters was the most adamant that he be known simply as an “artist”, free from the confines of geography. Yet his koru symbol has become to New Zealand’s visual culture what Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe is to the United States’.
Rita Angus The art of Rita Angus teaches New Zealanders how by close observation of what is unique about ourselves we might move closer to seeing what is universal.