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Contemp nz2.pdf

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  • 1. Three key works !Kauri 1954 !The Northland Panels 1958 !Here I give thanks to Mondrian 1961
  • 2. Stages in his development 1. 1953- 1st studied in Australia with Mary Cockburn Mercer, who had been in Paris with the Cubists before WW1. About this time he becomes aware of the work of Cezanne 2. 1953 traveled to the USA and saw the Abstract Expressionism. Took special note of Rothko, De Kooning, Newman, Pollock 3. 1958 saw a retrospective of Mondrian’s work 4. several influences acted concurrently in his work
  • 3. The influence of Cubism ! After studying with Cockburn-Mercer and on returning to NZ he painted On Building Bridges, which combined style elements of Analytical Cubism and Cezanne. ! Moved to Titirangi in 1953 and focused his Cubist treatment on subjects around him- the sea and the bush ! The works of 1953-57 derive from Picasso and Braque’s classic Cubist works of 1908-10
  • 4. Brain stock-take 2 !On Building Bridges reflected the work of (A) the stage of Analytical Cubism (B) the movement of Abstract Expressionism (C) Rothko and De Kooning (D) Classic Cubism 4
  • 5. influences on McCahon Cubists France Abstract Expressionists USA Piet Mondrian Mary Cockburn-Mercer Colin McCahon
  • 6. Kauri 1954 ! Part of a series that progressively became more abstract ! Overlapping facets of colour- borrowed from Cezanne (who analysed the subject and reduced it to planes and facets while still allowing the original subject matter to be reconstructed by the viewer) ! flattened picture plane, lack of spatial recession (Cubism) ! Limited palette, ! On the other hand: " He doesn’t use multiple viewpoints " The work is still not as abstract as the Cubists " The landscape in it’s own right is still an integral part of the work
  • 7. Influence of Abstract Expressionism !from his experience of Abs Expr. , McCahon: "combined the geometric treatment of the picture space "opened up his brushwork
  • 8. The Northland panels 1958 ! Completed after return from the USA ! Consists of 8 “panels” of unstretched canvas ! Influence of Pollock’s “drip” painting (runs in the paint) ! A greater degree of abstraction than in his earlier works ! Improvising quality seen in the loose brushwork (especially true of the 3rd panel) ! Large scale work importance of scale. This has an important part to play in the emotional quality ! Reduces the landscape to simple geometric shapes ! Forms are not recognizable (we can’t tell the exact locations
  • 9. The influences of Mondrian !A de Stijl artist !Had a very powerful effect on NZ art !Geometric abstraction consisted of chromatically simplified blocks of primary colours !Sought to go beyond external appearances to show the underlying essence of a subject !Reduced elements to paintings of the bare essentials only !McC first became interested in this artist in the early 1950’s (then saw a retrospective show in 1958)
  • 10. Hard-edged geometric abstraction influences of Mondrian 2 !A stylewhich employs two dimensional shapes (square, circle, triangle, grid) !Colour used to emphasize the structural connections !Usually appears flat