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Art and Architecture

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Art and Architecture

Art: Icons from Te Papa. ISBN 1-877385-21-2. Published by Te Papa Press. Recommended retail price

A selection of treasured items from Te Papa's art collection. Te Papa's art collection represents the work of more than 2500 artists and covers diverse genres, media and periods in art history.

 This book reveals the collection's remarkable range and quality-from European old monster prints, too celebrated 20th century New Zealand painting, to contemporary design, sculpture, and photography.

Many significant artworks are featured here, each one photographed in colour and accompanied by a lively, informative description. Softcover 108 pages. Published in 2006.

Art of Grahame Sydney, The by Grahame Sydney and contributors. Published by Longacre Press. ISBN 1877135. Recommended retail price $50, our price $47. 2000 MONTANA NEW ZEALAND BOOK AWARDS winner of Reader's Choice, Illustrative Arts section and the supreme award, the Montana Medal for Non-fiction.

Grahame Sydney is regarded as one of New Zealand’s major artists. He is best known for his magnificent landscapes of Central Otago, many of which hang in public and private collections throughout New Zealand and the western world. His paintings have been gifted to Nelson Mandela, bought by Elton John and Sam Neill, and the New Zealand iconic, Rozzie at Pisa, now hangs in Te Papa Tongarewa (The Museum of New Zealand in Wellington)

Here for the first time is a comprehensive survey of Sydney’s enormously varied body of work. Chosen from paintings produced over the past thirty years, this selection shows the luminous skies and eloquent hills of Central Otago, but also featured are the images rarely seen: the curious early studies; figure paintings; pencil drawings; tender portraits; still lifes; etchings of pregnant women; paintings of the disquieting night light; and the very fine lithographs. Many of the works were selected by curator Michael Findlay in co-operation with the artist.

The images are complemented by a brief autobiographical outline of Sydney’s early art development, a personal response from poet Brian Turner, essays from art curators Michael Findlay and Belinda Jones, and an extended and insightful interview with Grahame Sydney by photographer Reg Graham.

Included are 143 reproductions, 9 photographs, and a list of the artworks, exhibition history, and biographical notes. Hard cover, 191 pages. Published in 2000.

Art from The Art of Grahame Sydney

Buildings to Enjoy drawings by Lewis E. Martin. Published by Dunmore Press. ISBN 0864692536. Recommended retail price $22.

Lewis Martin has assembled over 100 of his precise and evocative drawings celebrating New Zealand buildings he has enjoyed experiencing in one or other of the myriad possible ways. They range over a period of 170 years and a span of southern latitudes extending from that of the Sahara to that of Austria in the north.

New Zealand’s long narrow islands with mountainous backbones create characteristic weather patterns of near-continuous wind, frequent heavy rain, and frequent spells of limpid skies and powerful sun. This temperate but theatrical climate combines with earthquakes, steep topography, and abundant timber to influence the national character of our buildings. Add economic, social and cultural constraints, and New Zealand’s built heritage has a flavor as distinctive as that of its speech. Soft cover, 144 pages.

Celluloid Dreams: A century of film in New Zealand - Editors: Geoffrey Churchman, Stephen Cain and Patrick Hudson. Published by IPL Transpress. ISBN 0908876963. Recommended retail price $24.95.

This book is the centennial history of motion pictures in New Zealand.

The first part of the book traces the development of cinema shows in the country from the earliest flickering, jerky "silents" in makeshift premises, through the grandeur of the 1920s picture palaces, to today's sophisticated multiplexes; examines the careers of notable impresarios and entrepreneurs; and looks at the controversy of film censorship since the 1910s

The second part of the book covers filmmaking in New Zealand since the end of the 19th century - the various types of productions by independents, government and television, challenges that filmmakers have faced, pioneers and standout figures in the industry, and the notable films that have been made. An appendix provides a filmography of New Zealand feature films from 1940 through 1996. Thoroughly researched and illustrated with over 140 excellent photos, 36 in color, this book is a key reference to New Zealand cinema and films. Soft cover, 144 pages.

I Was No Soldier: An Artist's War Diary by Ted Lewis. ISBN 1877228494. Published by Steele Roberts. Recommended retail price $29.95.

Art teacher Ted Lewis enlisted for war service in 1941, joining the medical corps. Whenever off duty he sketched and painted, often in dramatic and dangerous situations. His artistic talents were soon discovered and led to secondment as a mapmaker for General Freyberg.

Ted's art and writing reflect his passion for classical cultures and capture the atmosphere of the Middle East and Italy under the shadow of war. His wry cartoons for the NZEF Times epitomize Kiwi humor and spirit, and helped preserve sanity in a fighting division.

This diary was brought to light by Ted's former pupils. Its superb paintings, drawings and cartoons were complemented by poignant and powerful writing. Now, 60 years after the war, it is published for the first time.

"...The ceasefire went into effect and suddenly the sounds of gunfire were no more. It was a tremendous silence and the most remarkable thing was that then we heard another sound, the throbbing song of hundreds of skylarks, hovering up there in a perfectly blue sky. They had probably been there all the time, but we could not hear them because of the harsh sounds of gunfire. This was a deeply emotional moment. I could not but think of the many young soldiers who would not hear this lovely song because they had forever entered the long silence of death, sustained even in the last hours of this offensive. The tragic waste of war - even the satisfaction of victory and the relief that the North African campaign was now over was tempered with the sadness of the awful cost.". Hard cover, 128 pages. Published in 2001.

Jane Evans by John Coley. Recommended retail price $30, our price $28.

Jane Evans is one of New Zealand’s most successful artists. Her exuberant, colorful paintings attract collectors from around the world, and she has a waiting list of buyers for every work she creates. She has held sell-out exhibitions and seen her paintings auctioned for record prices.

But this success has not been easily achieved. At the age of eighteen, Jane Evans contracted systemic lupus erythematosus, a crippling and chronically painful condition, which affects the joints and the muscles surrounding them.

As John Coley recounts in this lively biography, Jane Evans kept her condition from the public for many years and has refused to let it interfere with her passion for painting and her enjoyment of a full and richly experienced life. As well as painting, she has also renovated two homes and created two gardens and traveled widely.

Superbly illustrated with over 100 reproductions of her works, more than 80 photographs by Lloyd Park of her home, garden and studio and brimming with the glorious color for which Jane Evans is famous, this book is a fitting tribute, visually and in words, to one of New Zealand’s best-loved artists. Hard cover, 112 pages.

Click here for two of Jane Evans's paintings.

John Gully, Painter by Fred McLean. ISBN 0908876211. Recommended retail price $12.95.

A biography by noted New Zealand art historian Fred McLean of the famous 19th century landscape artist John Gully. The result of 25 years' research, this fascinating history traces Gully's life from his birth in Bath, England, in 1819, his migration to New Zealand in the early 1850s, his settlement in the outskirts of New Plymouth, his forced shift from there as a result of the land wars to Nelson and the development of his art career from then to his death in 1888.

A considerable amount of social history of 19th century England and the contrast with settler life in New Zealand is provided as well as the development of the New Zealand art tradition. Illustrated with period art, photos and a selection of Gully's artworks. Soft cover, 192 pages. Published in 2001.

Maori Art, An Illustrated Guide to by Terence Barrow. Recommended retail price $16.95, our price $16.

This book describes in a general way what are now called the “visual arts” of the New Zealand Maori – that is those arts we can see with our eyes, and can touch with our hands. Author Terence Barrow has had a long and distinguished association with Maori art. He was head of Maori and Pacific collections at the Dominion Museum in New Zealand and in 1965 took up a similar position at the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Hawai’i. Guide to Maori Art explains the design motifs, the materials, construction and every day uses of Maori art objects. Soft cover, 104 pages.

Max Gimblett by Wystan Curnow and John Yau. ISBN 0908802943. Published by Craig Potton Publishing. Recommended retail price $49.95

This is the first major monograph on Max Gimblett and provides an overview of his extraordinary varied art practice as well as a glimpse at the man himself. A New Zealander who has made New York his home for the past thirty years, Gimblett has exhibited extensively since the mid-1970s with his work shown internationally in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Spain and held as a consequence in major collections, both public and private, throughout the world.

Max Gimblett’s work consists largely of object based paintings in a variety of shapes – the oval, rectangle, circle, square, and most well know, the quatrefoil. The surfaces combine the use of acrylic paints and resins with precious metals such as gold, silver, moon gold and copper as he explores the multiplicity of meanings attached to such revered materials and forms. The paintings embrace both Eastern and Western philosophies in associating precious metals with honor, wisdom, light and enlightenment and together with the drawings, which are a distinctive and parallel achievement, reference ancient symbols and belief systems and enact the transformation of material and spiritual energies.

The essays by eminent art writers Wystan Curnow and John Yau allow for insights and reflection on the various aspects of Gimblett’s practice. From the ‘Geos’ of the 1970s, through a myriad of shapes and techniques to current work that is just as stylistically diverse, this book maps the development of an exceptional career. Hard cover, 172 pages. Published in 2002.

New Zealand Art for Investment by Fred McLean. Published by IPL Transpress. ISBN 0908876882. Recommended retail price $19.95.

For the first time, this book presents a concise guide to the New Zealand art market from the viewpoint of investment potential.
In addition to highly valued works by major artists, many secondary artists are discussed and the opportunity for acquisitions that cover a wide price range.

The many complex factors that determine commercial values in the art market are examined, including historical influences and progression, schools of expression, social change, fashions and scarcity. Chapters on early lithographs, maps, engravings, photographs and Maori artifacts as well as practical information, make this a valuable reference book to art in New Zealand. The comprehensive text is supplemented by 16 pages of color illustrations. Soft cover, 160 pages.

New Zealand: A Century of Images by Paul Thompson. Published by Te Papa Press. ISBN 0909010455. Recommended retail price $39.95

The twentieth century could be called the century of the image. When George Eastman invented the first point-and-shoot camera just over a hundred years ago, the ability to make images came within the reach of anyone. Photography quickly became commonplace. But as well as being a hobby or a habit, it’s also a craft, a profession, and an art form. It’s often banal, but sometimes profound. Advertisers use it to persuade us, artists to reveal the unexpected.

A Century of Images presents a new approach to New Zealand’s history – probing the hidden side of our identity through images, using a hundred years of photographs to investigate who we are and who we have been. Soft cover, 174 pages. Published in 1998.

Speaking In Colour: Conversations with Artists of Pacific Island Heritage by Sean Mallon and Pandora Fulimalo Pereira. Published by Te Papa Press. ISBN 0909010447. Recommended retail price $29.95

As always, the cover of this book tells you the basics. What it doesn't tell you is this is one of those "punch you in the belly" and, if you are a guy, "grab you by the goolies" books. I was, to use another colloquialism, blown away by the variety, richness and sheer beauty of the work presented here. For me to include three images from a non-nature book speaks volumes.

Here's what the official blurb has to say:

“Part of our survival is doing our art. If we don’t, then we are lost. We are lost in another country, without an identity.” Fatu Feu’u

On of the most exciting developments in the arts of Aotearoa in the last decade has been the emergence of artists of Pacific Islands descent. In this book ten artists talk candidly about their lives and work, about finding themselves as artists. They also speak eloquently about coming to terms with their rich, complex cultural heritage. As Lyle Penisula puts it, “I don’t want people to look at my work and pigeon-hole it. I am proud of being a Samoan but I am not just that.” Many of the artists also pay tribute to those who have helped them, including the New Zealand painter, Tony Fomison, and the distinguished Samoan artist Fatu Feu’u, who have done much to support the work of young Pacific artists living in New Zealand.

“This important and generous book invites us into the lives of ten artists, and shows how they are helping shape our arts, and how we Pacific Islanders view ourselves. Accept the invitation! Anticipate the future, and add to your understanding their unique ways of seeing.” Albert Wendt. Soft cover, 155 pages, published in 1997.

Click on thumbnails below for photographs from Speaking in Colour.

Fagogo by John Ioane (61k)
Matai sculpture by Iosefa Leo (45k)

The Committed by Lyle Penisula (60k)


Taiawhio; Conversations with Contemporary Maori Artists edited by Huhana Smith. ISBN 0909010862. Published by Te Papa Press. Recommended retail price $24.95.

All artists have a complicated relationship with tradition, but that relationship is even more complex for Maori artists. This applies particularly to those who work in a non-traditional media or amalgamate customary knowledge with international styles and artistic philosophies. Taiawhio is a collection of conversation-based essays on contemporary Maori artists working in a range of media, from customary to anything but, from weaving and carving to painting and sculpture, film, video and photography.

Each chapter investigates the artistic practice and sources of inspiration of one particular artist or group, looking at the development of their work, drawing on extensive interview material. The illustrations show the artist at work in the studio, giving the reader a sense of the full range of their work and, at the same time, the environment in which that work is created. As well as established names, Taiawhio also includes the work of a number of young artists, giving an insight into the people who will create the Maori visual culture of the future.

The text is lively and has been written to be accessible to the non-specialist reader. Exhibition information for each artist is included, making Taiawhio essential reading for students of art and art history, as well as for all those with an interest in contemporary visual culture and New Zealand culture in the broadest sense.

This book has grown out of a program of research at Te Papa that investigates the current condition of contemporary Maori visual culture. The artists included here are : Jolene Douglas, Star Gossage, Fred Graham, Lyonel Grant, the Hetet Whanau (Erenora Puketapu-Hetet, Verenora Hetet, Len Hetet and Sam Hauwaho), Dion Hitchens, Emily Karaka, Hemi Macgregor, Nathan Pohio, Moko Porductions (leonie Pihama, Sharon Hawke and Glynis Paraha), Baye Riddell, Natalie Robertson, Anaru Rondon, Tracey Tawhiao, Saffronn Te Ratana, Kura Te Waru Rewiri, and Arnold Wilson

General Editor Huhana Smith is Concept Leader Tangata Whenua at Te Papa, and is herself a practicing artist. Megan Tamati-Quennell is Curator Art at Te Papa (on secondment to Ngai Tahu Development Corporation, Christchurch). John Walsh was formerly Curator Art at Te Papa and is now a full-time artist. Oriwa Solomon and Awhina Tamarapa are both Curators Maori at Te Papa. Soft cover, 224 pages. Published in 2002.

Click below for related titles

Brush With India, An; an artist’s journey by Linda-Marie De Vel

Have We Offended? by Mark Cross

Pacific Art Niu Sila edited by Sean Mallon and Pandora Fulimalo Pereira

Sage tea; an autobiography by Toss Woollaston


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Last modified on Monday, June 8, 2009