It does seem extremely fitting to have our first exhibition opening in 2016, centered on the landscape. It is mid summer and the Vivian is located in such a beautiful area, North of Auckland, in a region that offers up the best of both rural and ocean environments. Just glimpsing through the gallery doors, it is an ever-changing place of wonder, from the flax and grass fringed wetlands to the multi-green hills in the distance.
New Zealand has a rich history of interoperating notions of the landscape over many artistic disciplines. Painting, photography, and films like Jane Campion’s, ‘The Piano’ (1993), in which the landscape became a lead character in the story. In fact most paintings produced in the 19th and early 20th century New Zealand, were landscapes. The main intention was not necessarily to create works of art but rather to provide information about the places depicted. These images also helped make the new world more familiar and less frightening. Artists employed a range of stylistic approaches that were popular in Europe and especially in British landscape art.
Travelling and settler artists brought to New Zealand, European theories and practices and superimposed these on the New Zealand landscape. Well into the 20th century, art made in New Zealand was barely distinct from that of Europe – only the subject matter of people and place differed. Paintings were composed of elements pertaining to four main categories: topographical, the romantic or sublime, picturesque, and the ideal.
David Hockney, OM CH RA (born 9 July 1937) is an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. He lives in Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, and Kensington, London. Hockney maintains two residences in California, where he lived on and off for over 30 years: one in Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles, and an office and archives on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.
An important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.
When he first came to Los Angeles, said Hockney, he painted palm trees. And a woman came up to him and told him she'd never noticed the palm trees before. "Here, there are trees in the park," he said. "Maybe people will notice them."
Showing now at The Vivian - THE LANDSCAPE SHOW
SATURDAY 23 January - Sunday 28 February 2016
A Group Show featuring: Claudia Borella, Garry Currin, Simon Edwards, Gary Freemantle, Yukari Kaihori, Scott McFarlane, Stanley Palmer, Johanna Pegler, Mike Petre, Tim Thatcher