Arts Te Papa is changing…

We’re building a spectacular new art gallery and making changes online.

The Arts Te Papa website will be shutting down soon, but head to Collections Online to find your favourite works from New Zealand’s national art collection.

Find out more about the new art space

Keep up to date with news from Te Papa

Other Te Papa Sites

<EM>Black Painting</EM> by Ralph Hotere

Curator Megan Tamati-Quennell explains how this work achieved the ideal the artist was striving for

Black Painting by Ralph Hotere
<P>This recording was created for Te Papa’s in-gallery audio tour.</P> <P>Transcript</P> <P><STRONG>Megan Tamati-Quennell</STRONG></P> <P>It’s a work that probably achieved the ideal he was striving for. It’s very resolved and very pulled back. Aesthetically, it’s an extremely beautiful work.</P> <P>David Eggleton, in his essay, talked about Hotere belonging to a family of black colour painters. Those painters include artists like Goya, Matisse, Robert Motherwell, Ad Reinhardt, (Kasimir) Malevich, and there are many others.</P> <P>Hotere was a meticulous maker of objects. He has been described as a formalist and this particular painting, which is enamel on glass, has a reflection to it. It’s part of the work and part of him wanting to remove himself, in a way, and engage the viewer. His work is really about a reduction. It’s about a subtraction, about taking away until you’re reducing, reducing, until you get the purest, most mimimal form.</P> <P><EM>The next two tracks are in gallery 7.</EM></P>

More media

Black painting

Ralph Hotere, Black painting, 1968, enamel paint on glass,
Purchased 1997 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds.
© Reproduced courtesy of Ralph Hotere
Full object info is available on