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Angus [Cook], Rita [Henrietta] (Catherine) locked

(b Hastings, March 12, 1908; d Wellington, Jan 26, 1970).
  • Michael Dunn
  • , revised by Edward Hanfling

Extract

[Henrietta] (Catherine)

(b Hastings, March 12, 1908; d Wellington, Jan 26, 1970).

New Zealand painter. Angus studied at the Canterbury School of Art, Christchurch (1927–33). In 1930 she married the artist Alfred Cook (1907–70) and used the signature Rita Cook until 1946; they had separated in 1934. Her painting Cass (1936; Christchurch, NZ, A.G.) is representative of the regionalist school that emerged in Canterbury during the late 1920s, with the small railway station visualizing both the isolation and the sense of human progress in rural New Zealand. The impact of North American Regionalism is evident in Angus’s work of the 1930s and 1940s. However, Angus was a highly personal painter, not easily affiliated to specific movements or styles. Her style involved a simplified but fastidious rendering of form, with firm contours and seamless tonal gradations (e.g. Central Otago). Her paintings were invested with symbolic overtones, often enigmatic and individual in nature. The portrait of Betty Curnow...

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