Blog Archives

Colonial orientalism, Paula Morris

Galleries of Maoriland: Artists, Collectors and the Māori World, 1880–1910 
Roger Blackley
Auckland University Press, $75.00,
ISBN 9781869409357

The cover image of Roger Blackley’s impressive new book is a famous one: a tea break in Charles Goldie’s frame-stacked studio in 1901, Pātara Te Tuhi holding cup and saucer, his trousers and dusty boots visible below the sweep of his woven cloak. Both men seem deep in thought. Goldie – starched collar, shiny boots – was just 30, recently returned from studies in Paris; he’d seen a number of Gottfried Lindauer’s Māori portraits at the 1898–99 Auckland exhibition and begun his own rise to national fame.

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Posted in Art, History, Non-fiction, Review

A most “vigorous afterlife”, Roger Blackley

Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand: The  Māori Portraits
Ngahiraka Mason and Zara Stanhope (eds)
Auckland University Press and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, $75.00,
ISBN 9781869408565

This extremely elegant book, with its unusual, tall-and-thin “hyper-portrait” format, brings the artist Gottfried Lindauer and the principal collection of his works into the 21st century. It achieves this by foregrounding Māori perspectives, by emphasising Lindauer’s involvement with photography, and through the diverse range of scholarly perspectives by which the collection is explored. With contributions from Czech and New Zealand art historians, curators and conservators – both Māori and Pākehā – the book is a scholarly triumph for the Auckland Art Gallery.

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Posted in Art, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

The Veblen effect, Roger Blackley

Behind the Canvas: An Insider’s Guide to the New Zealand Art Market Warwick Henderson New Holland, $45.00, ISBN 9781869663674 In a recent New Zealand Listener, cultural curmudgeon Hamish Keith commented on the dangers of the art market: “Buying and selling

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Sourcing the golden goose, Hugh Roberts

Elements of Modernism in Colin McCahon’s Early Work Gordon H Brown Art History Programme, Victoria University of Wellington, $15.00, ISBN 9780475122032 Toss Woollaston: Origins and Influence  Tony Green Art History Programme, Victoria University of Wellington, $15.00, ISBN 9771176304001 Colin McCahon

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Posted in Art, Essays, Non-fiction, Review

The stories pictures tell, Roger Blackley

New Zealand Portraits Richard Wolfe Penguin Books, $80.00, ISBN 9780670071777 The Power of Portraiture: Representing Leadership in New Zealand from 1840 to the Present  Erin Griffey (with contributions from Brad Jackson and Paul Tapsell) Gus Fisher Gallery and David Ling,

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Cubist McCahon, Roger Blackley

Colin McCahon: The Titirangi Years, 1953-1959 Peter Simpson Auckland University Press, $49.95,  ISBN 9781869403898 A half-century ago, the literature of New Zealand art fitted on a single shelf, or – with a full collection of the periodical Art in New

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Posted in Art, Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Where’s Colin? Roger Blackley

Landscape Paintings of New Zealand: A Journey from North to South Christopher Johnstone Godwit, $69.99, ISBN 186921247 Christopher Johnstone begins his survey of New Zealand landscape paintings in the 1860s, the period when an exhibiting culture emerged to support amateurs,

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Erratic humanity, Roger Blackley

Nerli: An Italian Painter in the South Pacific Michael Dunn Auckland University Press, $79.99, ISBN I869403355 According to the traditional mythology of New Zealand art, the annus mirabilis of 1890 heralds the arrival of professionalism and modernism in the figures

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Pacific, Review

Paradise or purgatory, Alan Knowles

John Kinder’s New Zealand Ron Brownson (with contributions from Peter Shaw, Michael Dunn and Roger Blackley) Godwit and Auckland Art Gallery, $49.95, ISBN 1869621077 John Kinder turned his back on taunts of religious inflexibility and charges of being a “stiff-necked”

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction, Photography, Review

Cabinet of curiosities, Roger Blackley

Icons Nga Taonga: From the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Te Papa curatorial team Te Papa Press, $79.99, ISBN 090901096X On a recent visit from his Tasmanian hideaway, art museum guru Daniel Thomas expressed amazement that Te Papa’s

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