November 30, 2020
Show tries to capture broad span of Maori art
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is about to open its first major survey of contemporary Māori art in almost 20 years.
Toi Tū Toi Ora includes more than 300 works from 111 artists spanning 70 years.
Curator Nigel Borrell says he’s organised the show around the Māori creation narrative as a way to explore what unites these artists across space and time.
The starting point is the 1950s, when a generation of young teacher-artists added their own contribution to the tide of Modernism.
"Their Māori heritage came through in amazing ways with what they learned at art school and they made it their own. Today we know them as the trailblazers of contemporary Māori art and while their work may look quite different to that in the wharenui, they were looking at similar ideas – the importance of people, the importance of the figurative form, the importance of whakapapa, the importance of our creation stories," Mr Borrell says.
Toi Tū Toi Ora opens on Saturday and also includes major new artworks commissioned from Charlotte Graham, Ana Iti, Reuben Paterson, Emily Karaka, Sandy Adsett and others.
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