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Culture wars, ancient and modern, Hugh Roberts

The Critic’s Part: Wystan Curnow Art Writings 1971-2013
Wystan Curnow
Adam Art Gallery/Victoria University Press, $80.00,
ISBN 9780864739322

Then It Was Now Again: Selected Critical Writing
Murray Edmond
Atuanui Press, $44.00,
ISBN 9780992245368

The editors of The Critic’s Part tell us that Curnow’s prolific but scattered art-critical writings (reviews, catalogue copy, journalism, essays etc) together reveal the “arc, progression, and continuity of Curnow’s thinking” and deliver a “general, ‘big-picture’ account of New Zealand art”. If there is some truth to the first of these claims, the second cannot be said to bear much examination. Nonetheless, anyone interested in the history of New Zealand art in the late 20th century will be grateful to Christina Barton and Robert Leonard for making these pieces available.

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Posted in Essays, Non-fiction and Review

Shifting the ground rules, Aaron Lister

Leo Bensemann: Portraits, Masks and Fantasy Figures Caroline Otto Nikau Press, $44.95, ISBN 0958224242 Frances Hodgkins: A Private Viewing Joanne Drayton Random, $59.95, ISBN 1869621174 The Expatriates: Barrie Bates and Frances Hodgkins Christina Barton Adam Art Gallery, $25.00, ISBN 1877309044

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction and Review
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