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Calendar > On Paper: Drawings from the Wallace Arts Trust Collection

On Paper: Drawings from the Wallace Arts Trust Collection

The Wallace Gallery Morrinsville in partnership with the Wallace Arts Trust is proud to present:


Wallace Gallery Morrinsville
Wallace Arts Trust Collection Gallery
29th March - 5th June 2017

This exhibition features works on paper from the Wallace Arts Trust collection, created with graphic and paint media. The selection aims to showcase the breadth of the Trust’s holdings by presenting nine decades of New Zealand art. Predominantly drawings or watercolours, these works are displayed in particular groupings: mid-20th Century, drawings by sculptors, and contemporary practice.

A starting point in the exhibition features works from the mid-20th Century.
Observation of daily life is a consideration for these artists with subject matter being portraiture, life drawing, studies and localised industry. Rudolf Gopas’ watercolour ‘Portrait of Barry Ferguson’ of 1958 is one of several portraits taken from life, of people who sat for artists in studio or in domestic settings. These portraits convey the past - Barry Ferguson is very much a man of the 1950s with his hair slicked back and large collar. A similar sense of documenting ‘what was’ is recounted in drawings of people in factories or most notably WWII in ‘Tail Gunner’ c.1940 by Christopher Perkins.

Drawings by sculptors have a particular characteristic that relates to their practice. There is a strong sense of the three-dimensional inscribed on a flat plane of paper. The forms in Marte Szirmay’s ‘Untitled’ 1992 are rendered tonally, resulting in a solidity of mass. It appears as if one of her sculptures were present so the viewer can perceive an actual materiality. Sculptors often draw to present ideas for commissions that may later result as sculptures - one instance being Chris Booth’s ‘Working Drawing’ 1986. The drawing by Booth is diagrammatic with text and details outlining technical information, whilst also being an actual rooftop setting showing the sea in the distance.

Drawing has an important place in contemporary practice with a particularity of its own. Notably it is now an intrinsic part of an artist’s identity - who they are and do. Further, drawing is very much an end in itself as opposed to a process for producing something else. The use of motif is disparate, even a mark or brushstroke being what it is. For many of the selected artists it can be said that drawing/painting on paper is a thread, continuity of their practice. Of particular mention in this regard are: Kathy Barry, Mark Braunias, Kushana Bush, Michael Harrison, Marita Hewitt, Georgie Hill and Sam Mitchell.

Image credit: Sam Mitchell, 27 May 1963 ‘who is he?' (2005) (detail), Ink and watercolour on paper, framed and glazed. Wallace Arts Trust Collection.

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  • Wed Mar 29 - Mon Jun 5 2017

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Tuesday - Sunday 10 am to 4 pm


Wallace Gallery
167 Thames Street

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Justin Morgan
Phone 078897791

167 Thames Street, Morrinsville, New Zealand
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