The Critic’s Part: Wystan Curnow Art Writings 1971-2013
Adam Art Gallery/Victoria University Press, $80.00,
Then It Was Now Again: Selected Critical Writing
Atuanui Press, $44.00,
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.