Four distinct artistic visions are on show at City Gallery this month, in a new suite of exhibitions called Four Faces of New Zealand Art: from Rita Angus's iconic self-portraits and Michael Illingworth's witty satire of 'upstanding' members of the community; to Gavin Hipkins' unique take on New Zealand identity and Peter Peryer's, emotionally charged images of his wife.
The series features two major survey exhibitions: Rita Angus – ‘live to paint and paint to live’, which is the first survey of Angus’s work since 1982, and A Tourist in Paradise Lost – The Art of Michael Illingworth - the first ever survey of the late Michael Illingworth’s work in a public gallery. Two photography exhibitions by Gavin Hipkins and Peter Peryer complete the series.
The Four Faces series is accompanied by new City Gallery publications on Angus, Illingworth and Hipkins, and a programme of free talks, tours, music and poetry which starts on Saturday 14 July and runs through until October.
Rita Angus’s dazzling self-portraits, and landscapes like Boats, Island Bay have become New Zealand icons. Rita Angus – ‘live to paint and paint to live’ features twenty-three self-portraits and many other extraordinary paintings based on her 24 years in Wellington; her links with writer Lawrence Baigent and artist Leo Bensemann; and landscapes from painting trips in the South Island with her friend Marjorie Marshall. A joint project between City Gallery Wellington and the Hocken Library, University of Otago. Sponsored by Russell McVeagh. Generously supported by Creative New Zealand. 7 July – 16 September 2001.
Former Massey University lecturer Gavin Hipkins is one of New Zealand’s foremost young photographers, with a growing international reputation. In his latest exhibition - Gavin Hipkins – The Homely – he delves into his roots in 1970s New Zealand to explore themes of nationhood, historical folklore and colonial links to the British Empire. A New Zealand Artist Project commissioned by City Gallery Wellington. Generously supported by Creative New Zealand. 7 July – 16 September 2001.
A Tourist in Paradise Lost – The Art of Michael Illingworth sheds new light on an important, unique and under-recognised artist. The late Michael Illingworth’s emblematic figurative paintings, images of suburbia, his deft satire of convention-ridden society and the social context of his work are explored in this exhibition. An important new publication, accompanying the exhibition, will increase awareness of this previously little-documented artist. A Tourist in Paradise Lost tours to three metropolitan centres after its showing in Wellington. Sponsored by Ernst & Young. Generously supported by Creative New Zealand. 14 July – 28 October 2001
Renowned photographer Peter Peryer made numerous images of his wife Erika in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. His photographic essay – Erika – A Portrait by Peter Peryer – represents one of the most sustained and fascinating episodes of portraiture in New Zealand photography. A Dunedin Public Art Gallery Touring Exhibition. 14 July – 16 September 2001.