Rita Angus: Life & Vision opens at Christchurch Art Gallery this weekend. I’ll be heading down for the official opening tomorrow evening. On Saturday I’m doing a floortalk in the exhibition at noon, the first in what looks like a great line-up of events alongside the show. It’ll be niceRead more

Ian Prior, noted epidemiologist and arts patron, died earlier this week. Luncheon under the ash tree, an exhibition organised by Aratoi which celebrated Ian and Elespie Prior’s art collection, toured galleries around New Zealand a few years ago. A couple of works on show in and near Te Papa stand inRead more

In 1958 Colin McCahon spent four months on a study tour of the United States. Although the main point of the trip was to look at how museums were run — McCahon was then working as a curator at Auckland Art Gallery — he saw an awful lot of art:Read more

We’re back in Wellington and James has returned home to work on shaping what will be the One Day Sculpture project. As I mentioned, this post covers a bit about James’ practice by looking at a few works. James Luna has been creating visual art, interdisciplinary exhibitions and performances thatRead more

  In Europe during the 1300s February 14th was thought to be the day when birds paired off to mate. This date was originally an ancient Greco-Roman pagan festival, and was later called St Valentines Day Feast by the Church. Since the 1300s, on February 14th each year, roses (and flowers in general),  haveRead more

In honour of Charles Darwin’s birthday today, here’s a work by one of the artists from HMS Beagle. Conrad Martens painted this view of Kororareka, the site of modern Russell, in 1841. It’s based on sketches which he made during on a brief visit there in 1835. Martens had left theRead more

Reading about American artist James Luna’s travels around the country brings to mind of a couple of earlier artistic visitors to New Zealand. Nicholas Chevalier, the Russian-born, Australian-domiciled Swiss painter made two visits to New Zealand in the 1860s. The first, in 1865, was sponsored by the Otago Provincial Council. Not toRead more

On our last day in New Plymouth we met with Govett-Brewster Art Gallery staff and SCANZ (Solar Circuit Aotearoa New Zealand) artists. SCANZ involves  a residency, exhibition and symposium for artists working with new media and technology. James gave a brief talk about his work to Gallery staff and artistsRead more

Mr Alfred Sharpe has just returned from a three weeks’ sketching tour in the Bay of Islands district, with a well-filled portfolio of sketches, and with a number of orders from the residents of that district. The sketches comprise views of Russell, Paihia, Waitangi, Ngaheiu, Pakaraka, Pouerua, Ohaeawai, Waimate, Kawakawa,Read more

Since I posted introducing One Day Sculpture and visiting artist James Luna, who is developing a project to be presented at Te Papa, Megan, James and I have been to Auckland and back. In Auckland James gave a talk at the Auckland Art Gallery‘s Art Lounge as part of theirRead more

Mondrian’s last chrysanthemum, the Colin McCahon painting we bought at the end of last year, arrived at Te Papa recently. It’s great to see it again. Like most paintings, there’s a lot about this work that you don’t get until you see it in the flesh. There’s beauty of theRead more

Don’t judge a book by its cover, the saying goes. There’s no doubt, though, that a book’s cover can say an awful lot about what’s inside. Deciding what work should go on the cover of the forthcoming book Art at Te Papa — Michael Illingworth’s Untitled 1971 — wasn’t easy.  WeRead more