We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Melvin (Pat) Day on 17 January.  Pat was a well-known Wellington artist who was at the forefront of developments in abstraction and cubism during the 1940s and 1950s. Most importantly for Te Papa, he was also the director of the NationalRead more

William Strutt’s View of Mt Egmont, Taranaki, New Zealand, taken from New Plymouth, with Maoris driving off settlers’ cattle, 1861 has been described by some as the ‘holy grail’ of colonial New Zealand painting. Paintings of this calibre are few and far between in New Zealand’s art history, as buddingRead more

Earlier this month, I was invited by the Dunedin Public Art Gallery to travel to Dunedin to talk about Archives – Te Wāhi Pounamu, Areta Wilkinson and Mark Adams currently on at the gallery.  A large exhibition, the show is made up of examples of Areta Wilkinson and Mark Adams individual practices’ across time. It features bodiesRead more

The movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened in New Zealand on 17 December. But did you know the franchise has a connection to the warriors of 19th century Fiji? Fijian weapons had a small role in the imaginings for one of the most successful science fiction films of allRead more

Do you have that end-of-the-year feeling? Everything compressing and accelerating towards a sense of an ending? I love walking through Te Papa’s art galleries on Level 5, especially at this time of the year. Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa is an escape from the everyday, from schedules and deadlinesRead more

This is one of my favourite Brian Brake photographs, and it was one of his as well. You can see it exhibited in Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa on level 5 of Te Papa at present, and in my book New Zealand Photography Collected. The only time it has previouslyRead more

Even before you arrive here, you are guaranteed to be swept off your feet: a massively enlarged version of Alfred Burton’s Milford Sound: Cascade from Mitre wittily tumbles down the steps to Level 4. You must bravely navigate the cascade, as a real treat awaits you! Best painting? This must be Strutt!Read more

This morning we were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Peter McLeavey, the pre-eminent New Zealand art dealer. Peter discovered New Zealand art as a young man in the early 1960s, soon after returning from his ‘OE’ in Europe. Meeting artists such as Colin McCahon, Toss Woollaston, Gordon Walters andRead more

One hundred and twenty five years ago, in a cornfield of raucous crows, Vincent van Gogh shot himself. On 15 October I am exploring the Van Gogh phenomenon in a public lecture, ‘Starry, starry night: looking at Vincent van Gogh’, Soundings Theatre, 6 pm. This is being presented on behalfRead more