Happy news for historical art lovers: Te Papa is soon to have a newly appointed Curator Historical International Art.
Dr Mark Stocker is currently a lecturer at University of Otago’s Department of History and Art History, where he has been Associate Professor since 2003. He is an expert on historical European art, particularly in the nineteenth century, and his PhD thesis was on Victorian sculpture. Mark will join us up here in Wellington in March next year.
Earlier this year I met Mark when he visited us to view works in our international art collection, as preparation for writing his essay ‘After cubism, before pop‘.
In the essay he takes us on fabulous tour of the works in the Art of the 20th Century exhibition, finding connections and synergies between artists with seemingly disparate styles. ‘Artists like to keep their options open,’ he says. ‘They play games with us.’
While he was visiting Te Papa, we also squeezed in recording a video about his favourite art work at Te Papa, Zinnias by British artist William Nicholson. Nicholson ‘makes something extraordinary out of the ordinary,’ says Mark. ‘Look at the way it is white, on white, on white … The harmony, or symphony, of whites plays off each other so well.’
I look forward to reading (and watching) more from Mark in his new role!