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Article

Kyla Mackenzie

(b Nelson, 1949).

New Zealand photographer. Aberhart became a leading photographer in New Zealand from the 1970s with his distinctive 8×10 inch black-and-white photographs, taken with a 19th-century large format Field Camera. He is particularly well known for his images of disappearing cultural history, often melancholic in tone, in New Zealand.

Aberhart’s use of an ‘outmoded’ process for picturing subjects in apparent decay or decline paradoxically re-invigorated them. He was inspired by the documenting traditions of New Zealand’s itinerant 19th-century photographers. His generally provincial subjects included vacant architectural interiors and exteriors, such as domestic houses, Masonic lodges, churches, Maori meeting-houses, and cemeteries, war memorials, museum exhibits, landscapes, and horizons (see A Distant View of Taranaki, 14 February 2009, Auckland, A.G.). Aberhart also produced several compelling portraits, especially those from the late 1970s and early 1980s of his daughters (e.g. Kamala and Charlotte in the Grounds of the Lodge, Tawera, Oxford, 1981; Christchurch, NZ, A.G.)....

Article

William McAloon

(b Upper Hutt, Oct 3, 1964).

New Zealand painter of Maori descent. Cotton studied at the University of Canterbury, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1988. He is prominent amongst a generation of Maori artists that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s including Michael Parekowhai (b 1968), Lisa Reihana (b 1964), and Peter Robinson, all of whom were schooled in contemporary Euro-American art styles and debates and then explored their Maori identities in relation to globalization and post-colonialism. Cotton’s early 1990s works were contemporary history paintings, locating New Zealand’s conflicted past firmly in a bicultural present. Drawing upon Maori figurative styles from the late 19th-century, particularly in meeting-houses inspired by the prophet and resistance leader Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki, Cotton’s sepia-toned works juxtaposed these images with customary Maori carved forms, written Maori script, the coastal profiles of early European explorers, and appropriations from contemporary artists as diverse as Imants Tillers, Bridget Riley, and Haim Steinbach....

Article

Edward Hanfling

(b Hastings, March 21, 1930; d New Plymouth, Dec 8, 2011).

New Zealand sculptor, painter, printmaker, and installation artist. His art primarily involves assemblage, often with an eye to colour relationships; it also incorporates diverse sources including American modernism, African, and Asian art. Driver had little formal training and worked as a dental technician before he began sculpting with wood, clay, and dental plaster during the 1950s. Between 1960 and 1964 he produced assemblages and collages reminiscent of Robert Rauschenberg, though Driver was not aware of the American’s work then (e.g. Large Brass). In the United States from March to August 1965, he developed an interest in Post-painterly Abstraction as well as in Jasper Johns’s works. References to New York are manifest in his mixed-media wall relief La Guardia 2 (1966; Auckland, A.G.). The Painted Reliefs (1970–74) with their horizontal panels and strips of varying width and depth, mostly painted but sometimes aluminium, indicate the impact of American abstraction, notably that of Kenneth Noland. ...

Article

Christopher Johnstone

From the formal establishment of New Zealand with the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 until the 1960s, landscape was the predominant genre of painting in New Zealand. Several interrelated artistic, social, and practical reasons led to this and to the differing approaches to landscape representation during the period. They range from the country being ‘a land absolutely teeming with artistic subjects of the most varied kind… [offering] the special features of every country which is remarkable for its scenery’ (Hodgkins, 1880) to a belief that the mild climate made painting out of doors possible ‘without much discomfort all the year round’ (Killick, 1917).

The first professional artist to spend time in and paint New Zealand, in 1827–8, was Earl family, §3, but the artists who followed him in the 1840s were mostly amateurs—sailors, surveyors, and administrators, and later soldiers. Their objectives were largely governed by colonizing imperatives: documenting the country to promote it to potential settlers back ‘home’ who wanted to see non-threatening potential destinations. Watercolour was the primary medium. William Fox (...

Article

Helen Ennis

Photography in Australia has many parallels with that in other countries but it also has many significant differences that are the result of specific historical conditions and circumstances. Features in common include the rapid acceptance of photographic technologies, the importance of portraiture and the view of trade in the 19th century, the engagement with international styles such as Pictorialism, the prominent role of illustrative and advertising photography from the 1920s onwards, and the impact of modernism, Post-modernism, and post-colonialism. These features are not unique to Australia—they can be seen as manifestations of photography’s globalizing impulses—but nonetheless they do have a particular local or national inflection. Equally important are the aspects of Australian photographic practice that are different to photography elsewhere. Chief among these is the photography associated with relations between indigenous and settler Australians. Photographs of Aboriginal people were prominent in the 19th century and photographs by Aboriginal people have been central to Australian photographic practice and the broader visual arts since the early 1980s. Also conspicuous is an orientation towards the external world and the prevalence of realist approaches, which can be related to materialist preoccupations and anti-intellectual traditions that have underpinned national life in some periods....

Article

John B. Turner

The pattern of development in photography in New Zealand was similar to other colonies in the Victorian era. Progress was slow because of the country’s geographical remoteness and small population. Difficulties of overseas supply and local demand—the very traffic of equipment, materials, ideas, and pictures—have shaped all levels of achievement. Pioneer photographers were participant-observers in the process of nation building who could not but see the world according to the values of their upbringing. For instance, after the wars over land ceased in the 1880s, defeated Maori were imagined as a dying race and their culture was studied with fresh urgency. Maori subjects were common among photographers; the treatments ranging from nostalgic romanticism to abject realism.

Pictorial photography, photography’s first international art movement, dominated the camera club movement throughout the first half of the 20th century, and effectively muted the radical social precepts of modernism to the point of portraying it as an essentially anti-Pictorialist movement. In a society where art practice tends more towards the experiential than cerebral, the influence of Post-modernism, generally perceived as an anti-modernist movement, in its turn seems largely academic....