Colin McCahon: A National Gallery of Australia Focus Exhibition

Exhibition date:
16 June 2007 to 02 September 2007
Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery

Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Inveresk, Launceston Tasmania, 16 June – 2 September 2007; Dell Gallery, Brisbane Queensland, 19 September – 28 October 2007; Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu, Christchurch New Zealand, 8 March - 15 June 2008; Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin New Zealand, 5 July - 14 September 2008.

As part of its 25th-anniversary year, the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra) is proud to be touring a focus exhibition that celebrates the work of one of the most widely acclaimed Aotearoa New Zealand artists, Colin McCahon.

The exhibition brings together paintings and works on paper that reflect key concerns in McCahon’s art from 1950 through to the early 1980s. While drawn predominantly from the National Gallery of Australia’s collection, it features one of McCahon’s last paintings, I applied my mind 1980–82, which has been generously lent to the exhibition.

It has been thirty years since McCahon’s monumental Victory over death 2 1970 was gifted by the New Zealand Government to Australia. This work is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of the National Gallery of Australia’s collection. It was also in 1978 that the National Gallery first acquired a magnificent group of works on paper by McCahon that are being shown together in this focus show for the first time. These works are being shown in the context of a number of key paintings that include Crucifixion: the apple branch 1950, a painting that was important to the artist and remained in his studio until his death in 1987. The work was acquired in 2004 with the generous assistance the Sir Otto and Lady Margaret Frankel Bequest.

Two decades after Colin McCahon’s death, the National Gallery of Australia aims in this focus exhibition to provide access to and further study of the intriguing work of one of the great artists of our region.

Text extracted from the National Gallery of Australia website.