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Jim Barr and Mary Barr

(b Christchurch, July 12, 1939; d Waitangi, Feb 7, 1990).

New Zealand painter. After graduating in sculpture from the University of Canterbury in 1961, he began to paint seriously. He was involved professionally in archaeology, including recording early Maori rock drawings. In 1963 he travelled to Europe, returning to Christchurch in 1967. He extended his use of photographic sources for his work from the Old Masters to medical and often grotesque images, as in No! (Christchurch, NZ, McDougall A. G.). He moved to Auckland in 1973 and from then Polynesian culture and imagery dominated his work. From these sources he built up his distinctive symbolic vocabulary, for example in Too Late (1986; Rotorua, A. G.). In 1994 Fomison’s work toured throughout New Zealand in the exhibition Fomison: What Shall We Tell Them?

Tony Fomison: A Survey of his Paintings and Drawings from 1961 to 1979 (exh. cat. by J. Barr, Lower Hutt, NZ, Dowse A. G., 1979) L. Strongman...