Walters, Gordon ( Frederick )
- Kyla Mackenzie
( Frederick )
(b Wellington, Sept 24, 1919; d Christchurch, Nov 6, 1995).
New Zealand painter and printmaker. Like Milan Mrkusich , Walters was dedicated to modernist abstraction during a period when the landscape genre predominated in New Zealand art. He trained as a graphic artist between 1935 and 1939 and studied art at Wellington Technical College (1939–40). At this time he was drawn to the economical formal values of Maori and Oceanic art at the Dominion Museum in Wellington.
In 1941 he met Theo Schoon , an Indonesian-born Dutch artist who encouraged Walters’ interest in modernist European art and non-European art. Walters’ abstract works of the early 1940s (e.g. Waikanae Landscape, 1944; Auckland, A.G.), were informed by Surrealist artists such as Tanguy. His diverse interests were unusual in the context of New Zealand art. In 1946 he recorded the austere Maori rock designs being documented by Schoon in South Canterbury. In Australia (1946 and 1947–9) he researched contemporary art in libraries, museum collections of non-European art, and Aboriginal rock drawings and bark paintings. ...