Don’t miss Te Papa Rita Angus’ flagship exhibition: New Zealand Modernist | He Ringatoi Hou o Aotearoa
Rita Angus is one of New Zealand’s most beloved artists, and her iconic and instantly recognizable images are highly prized in public and private collections. During his life (1908 – 1970), Angus created an amazing body of work and had a significant impact on the art scene in Aotearoa. To celebrate his life and work, Rita Angus: New Zealand modernist I He Ringatoi Hou o Aotearoa is a thought-provoking and inspiring exhibition of over 70 distinctive works that depict a new and modern New Zealand. Developed through a partnership with the Royal Academy of Arts in London and Te Papa in Wellington, this is a unique opportunity not to be missed.
Over his 40-year career, Angus has produced notable works in a variety of mediums including pen and ink, watercolor, and oil paint. Te Papa Conservator Modern Art Lizzie Bisley is struck by the power the paintings continue to wield. “Over 70 of Angus’ works are on display in this exhibition,” she says, “and it’s remarkable how fresh and strong his vision remains today.”
Reaching the peak of her powers in the 1930s and 1940s, Angus honed her craft in a male-dominated world and it wasn’t until the 1950s that she began to gain widespread recognition. Despite his recognition as a painter, Angus struggled, like so many artists, to make ends meet through art alone. She occasionally held other jobs, including writing children’s art activities for The press, drawing fashion plates for the Ballantynes department store, then worked as an illustrator for the School Journal. Angus struggled with mental health issues at times, but always found ways to create.
In his landscape paintings – noted for their distinctive colors and flat, graphic style – Angus created a very specific view of 20th-century Aotearoa. Cass (1936) is undoubtedly one of his most popular works and was painted after a 1936 trip to Cass, high in the Waimakariri Basin, with fellow painters Louise Henderson and Julia Scarvell. This captivating oil on canvas depicts a rural train station and is famous for its simplicity and clean lines. It was voted New Zealand’s most beloved painting in a 2006 poll by a TV art show. Front seat.
A painter of strong principles, Angus was a feminist before it was fashionable, as well as an ardent pacifist. “As an artist, it is my job to create life, not destroy it,” Angus wrote, showing how much she linked her painting to her pacifist beliefs.
Part of the vibrant art scene of the 1930s in Christchurch and then the art world of the 1950s in Wellington, Angus is one of the strongest sons in the history of New Zealand art. His works are as captivating today as when they were first painted. When asked to describe his artistic goals for the 1947 New Zealand Arts Directory, Angus said she wanted to “show the present a peaceful way and, through devotion to visual art, sow seeds for the eventual maturity of future generations”. Words that seem more relevant today than ever.
Rita Angus: New Zealand modernist I He Ringatoi Hou o Aotearoa offers a thought-provoking retrospective of Angus’s most beloved works of art, so gather your friends and whānau and take this opportunity to view a captivating slice of Aotearoa’s art history at Te Papa.
Closing April 25th so don’t delay, head to Te Papa today for this exceptional free exhibition made possible through the generous sponsorship of Wellington Council, Wellington Airport, Singapore Airlines, GB and the Te Foundation. Dad.
For more information, visit the Te Papa website.
If you’re attending the exhibition with your friends and family, why not make a day out of it and enjoy a 1940s-themed afternoon tea with delicious pastries and pastries offered daily at 11am and 2pm.
High tea prices: Adults: $30, Reduced: $27, Child: $20, Family (2AD + 2Ch) $85.
To celebrate Rita’s 114th birthday, book a tea party between March 12-19 and receive a free upgrade to our premium tea party. Available to people 18 and over only.
For more information and to book High Tea, click here.
Before visiting, please also check www.TePapa.Govt.NZ for the latest Covid-19 updates.