Signs of Earlier
Until 18 October
Auckland artist Iain Cheeseman’s new exhibition 'Signs of Earlier' combines a love of language with a background in sculpture, painting and engineering - creating playful and humorous works. But underneath the surface the works reveal more sinister and thought provoking concerns.
Until 18 October
The late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries were a significant time in the development of visual arts in New Zealand. There was a prolific growth in the establishment of art schools and art societies around New Zealand, and an increasing appreciation for art. But during this time, the overarching emphasis towards the arts remained conservative. This was challenged with the arrival of three professional painters from Europe – Petrus van der Velden (1837–1913), James Nairn (1859–1904) and Girolamo Nerli (1860–1926) – whose teaching and practice provided fresh ideas for New Zealand artists to absorb. But despite their arrival, their impact was limited.
Encouraged by van der Velden, Nairn, and Nerli to experience the modern art movements – impressionism, fauvism, and post-impressionism – in the flesh, those New Zealand painters who hungered to expand their talents during this period were lured to the shores of Europe.
Drawing from the Aigantighe Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection, this exhibition celebrates the bravery of a distinct group of artists and expatriates who forged their own paths. They flirted with the modern art ideas of late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and looked to break the conservative shackles of New Zealand art of that period.