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Level 5, Te PapaPrevious Exhibition
New Zealand doesn’t exist yet, though some possible New Zealands glimmer in some poems and on some canvases. It remains to be created - should I say invented - by writers, musicians, artists, architects, publishers ...
Allen Curnow, Year Book of the Arts in New Zealand, 1945
From the 1930s, there emerged a new group of artists whose work was rooted in this land. They were of European descent but, unlike their forebears, they wanted to reflect their New Zealandness in their art. Some exhibited annually in Christchurch as The Group, which ‘epitomised avant-garde art’.
Here, we see these artists exploring their local surroundings and experimenting with style. They confront us boldly from the frame as if to say: ‘This is who we are.’