Hocken Gallery, 17 August 2013 – 7 February 2014.
Drawing on the Hocken’s vast collection of art, this exhibition focuses on predominantly twentieth-century depictions of place by artists in New Zealand.
These pictures document the translation of post-impressionism, cubism, expressionism, surrealism and pop art, styles that originated overseas, in the making of representations of the local environment. In a contemporary age that is increasingly defined by multiculturalism, online search engines and artists working in new media, it is timely to consider whether the idea of a geographically distinct New Zealand art form is valid.
By encouraging us to reflect on the nature of iconic images, this exhibition questions whether the power of a physical painting and its New Zealandness has been diminished or enhanced by an online environment of digital reproductions and hyper-connectivity.
Image: Russell Clark, Cabbage Trees, oil on canvas, 1290 x 787mm, Mona Edgar Collection, 1948, Acc. 19,717, Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, Dunedin.