The Second Gate Series , 1962

Record number
cm001001
Title
The Second Gate Series
Date
1962
Medium
enamel
Support
16 hardboard panels
Dimensions
1: 1207 x 995 mm (s)
2: 1207 x 438 mm (s)
3: 1207 x 657 mm (s)
4: 1207 x 598 mm (s)
5: 1207 x 597 mm (s)
6: 1207 x 597 mm (s)
7: 1207 x 900 mm (s)
8: 1207 x 599 mm (s)
9: 1257 x 897 mm (s)
10: 1207 x 598 mm (s)
11: 1207 x 1205 mm (s)
12: 1207 x 751 mm (s)
13: 1207 x 747 mm (s)
14: 1207 x 905 mm (s)
15: 1207 x 752 mm (s)
16: 1207 x 1204 mm (s)
Inscriptions
1: 1 GATE SERIES / GATE I / I (on reverse); 3/20A (on reverse, in another's hand); Barry Lett galleries (on reverse, label)
2: 2 GATE / SERIES / GATE / SERIES (on reverse); 3/20B (on reverse, in another's hand); Barry Lett galleries (on reverse, label)
3: 3 GATE SERIES (on reverse); 3/20C (on reverse, in another's hand)
4: 4 GATE / SERIES (on reverse); 3/[illegible] (on reverse, in another's hand)
5: 5 GATE SERIES (on reverse)
6: 6 GATE SERIES (on reverse); 3/2[illegible] (on reverse, in another's hand); Barry Lett galleries (on reverse, label)
7: 7 GATE SERIES (on reverse); 3/20G (on reverse, in another's hand); Barry Lett galleries (on reverse, label)
8: 8 GATE SERIES (on reverse); 3/20H (on reverse, in another's hand)
9: 9 GATE SERIES (on reverse); 3/20I (on reverse, in another's hand)
10: 10 GATE SERIES (on reverse); 3/2[illegible] (on reverse, in another's hand); Barry Lett galleries (on reverse, label)
11: 11 GATE SERIES (on reverse); 3/20K (on reverse, in another's hand)
12: 12 GATE SERIES (on reverse); 3/20L (on reverse, in another's hand); Barry Lett galleries (on reverse, label)
13: 13 GATE SERIES (on reverse); 3/20M (on reverse, in another's hand)
14: 14 GATE SERIES (on reverse); 3/20[illegible] (on reverse, in another's hand)
15: 15 GATE SERIES (on reverse)
16: 16 GATE SERIES (on reverse); 3/20[illegible] (on reverse, in another's hand); Barry Lett galleries (on reverse, label)
Credit line
Purchased 1984 with New Zealand Lottery Board funds
Accession number
1984-0035-1/A-P
Extended inscriptions
1:EARTH (inverted, t.l.-t.c.)
EARTH (inverted, u.c.)
O EARTH (inverted, u.r.)
HOW IS THE HAMMER
OF THE WHOLE
EARTH CUT ASUN
& BROKEN DER

3: IS IT NOTHING TO YOU, YE THAT PASS BY? (u.l.-u.r.)

4: CRY
WHAT SHALL I CRY?
HOWL, O GATE, CRY.
O CITY
HOWL YE INHABITANTS
OF THE COASTLAND.
FEAR AND THE PIT AND
THE SNARE ARE UPON
THEE, O INHABITANT OF
THE EARTH (t.l.-c.)
WE HAVE MADE A
COVENANT WITH
DEATH, AND
WITH HELL ARE
AT AGREEMENT (c.l.-l.r.)

5: YEA, IT SHALL BE AT AN
INSTANT SUDDENLY. THERE
SHALL BE A VISITATION WITH
THUNDER, AND WITH EARTHQUAKE
AND GREAT NOISE, WITH
WHIRLWIND AND TEMPEST,
AND THE FLAME OF A
DEVOURING FIRE (t.l.-c.r.)

THE FLAME OF A
DEVOURING FIRE (c.l.-c.r.)

HOW IS THE HAMMER OF THE WHOLE EARTH
CUT ASUNDER AND BROKEN? (inverted, c.r.-c.)

THE EARTH SHALL STAGGER
LIKE A DRUNKEN MAN.
THEN THE MOON SHALL
BE CONFOUNDED AND THE
SUN ASHAMED (l.l.-l.r.)

HOW IS THE HAMMER BROKEN? (inverted, b.r.-b.l.)

6: BOTH GREAT AND SMALL
SHALL DIE IN THIS LAND
THEY SHALL BE AS DUNG UPON
THE FACE OF THE GROUND.
THE PEOPLES SHALL BE AS
THE BURNINGS OF LIME : AS
THORNS CUT DOWN, THAT ARE
BURNED IN THE FIRE.
THEY WANDER AS BLIND MEN
IN THE STREETS,
THEY ARE POLLUTED WITH
BLOOD.
THEIR SKIN CLEAVETH TO
THEIR BONES, IT IS
WITHERED, IT IS BECOME
LIKE A STICK
THEY SHALL EAT EVERYONE THE
FLESH OF HIS FRIEND (t.l.-b.r.)

BOTH GREAT AND SMALL
SHALL DIE IN THIS LAND (inverted, b.r.-b.l.)

8: THE SLAIN SHALL BE AT THAT DAY
FROM ONE END OF THE EARTH UNTO THE
OTHER END OF THE EARTH.
THE MOUNTAINS SHALL BE MELTED
WITH THEIR BLOOD AND THE
STREAMS THEREOF SHALL BE
TURNED INTO PITCH, AND THE DUST
THEREOF INTO BRIMSTONE, AND THE
LAND THEREOF SHALL BECOME BURNING
PITCH. IT SHALL NOT BE QUENCHED NIGHT
NOR DAY, AND THE SMOKE THEREOF SHALL
GO UP FOR EVER : FROM GENERATION
TO GENERATION IT SHALL BE WASTE.
NONE SHALL PASS THROUGH IT
FOR EVER AND EVER. (t.l.-c.)
THE WHOLE LAND SHALL BE A
DESOLATION; YET WILL I NOT
MAKE A FULL END. FOR THIS
SHALL THE EARTH MOURN
AND THE HEAVENS ABOVE
BE BLACK. (c.l.-l.c.)

ALL YE THAT KINDLE A FIRE, THAT
GIRD YOURSELVES ABOUT WITH FIREBRAND,
WALK YE IN THE FLAME OF YOUR FIRE
AND AMONG THE BRANDS WHICH YE
HAVE KINDLED. (l.l.-b.l.)

10: GO (t.l.-t.c.)

PREPARE THE WAY
CRY ALOUD,
SPARE NOT (u.l.-u.c.)

GO THROUGH,
GO THROUGH THE
GATES (c.l.-c.)

16: GATE (c.)
Exhibition history

1962 The Gate Series by Colin McCahon
Durham Street Art Gallery
Christchurch
9/9/1962 - 19/9/1962

1970 Colin McCahon: Gate Series 1962
Dawsons Limited Exhibition Gallery
Dunedin
22/6/1970 - 3/7/1970

1972 Colin McCahon: A Survey Exhibition
Auckland City Art Gallery
Auckland
7/3/1972 - 23/4/1972

1977 The Second Gate Painting of 1962
Peter McLeavey Gallery
Wellington
30/8/1977 - 16/9/1977

1980 Colin McCahon at the Dowse Art Gallery
Dowse Art Museum
Lower Hutt
10/1980 - 10/1980

2001 Answering Hark: Caselberg/McCahon: Poet/Painter
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Auckland
17/3/2001 - 20/5/2001

2006 The Titirangi Years
Lopdell House
Auckland
25/8/2006 - 8/10/2006

2006 Towards Auckland: Colin McCahon the Gallery Years
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Auckland
12/8/2006 - 25/3/2007

Notes
The texts in this painting were compiled at McCahon's request by poet John Caselberg. They come from the books of Jeremiah, Isaiah and Lamentations, although there is some modification of certain texts (see, for instance, that of the tenth panel).

The text in the first panel of this painting is from Jeremiah 50:23. The text in the third panel is from Lamentations 1:12. The text in the fourth panel is from Isaiah 24:17 and Isaiah 28:15. The text in the fifth panel is from Isaiah 24:20, 24:23, 29:5-6 and Jeremiah 50:23. The text in the sixth panel is from Isaiah 33:12, Jeremiah 16:4 (or Jeremiah 25:33), 16:6, 19:9, and Lamentations 4:8, 4:14. The text in the eighth panel is from Isaiah 34:3, 34:9-10, 50:11 and Jeremiah 4:27-28, 25:33.