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Te Papa: Ralph Hotere Black Light Exhibition Opens

19 October 2000

MEDIA STATEMENT

RALPH HOTERE: BLACK LIGHT EXHIBITION OPENS AT TE PAPA

The work of Ralph Hotere, one of New Zealand's greatest living artists, will feature in a special exhibition opening at Te Papa on Saturday, 28 October 2000.

The Ralph Hotere: Black Light, which will run until 25 February 2001, is a collaboration between Te Papa and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. The exhibition focuses on the artist's major installation works and painting series, beginning with the austere Black Paintings of 1968 with their slim coloured crosses through to the scale and grandeur of works such as Black Phoenix.

Te Papa's curator Ian Wedde said today that the exhibition supports Te Papa's vision to celebrate and explore what makes New Zealand culture and heritage unique.

"Ralph Hotere: Black Light offers a look into the artist's intensely personal world. It explores the tensions between the artist's silences and his protests, the sense of a deep spirituality in his work, and the many elegant and meticulous ways in which he has claimed the colour black as his signature."

Ralph Hotere: Black Light also celebrates the marvellous and creative friendship between Ralph Hotere and the sculptor Bill Culbert, with three of the major works in this exhibition, products of this friendship.

"Conversations and friendships are central to Ralph Hotere's art and this exhibition reflects those close ties," said Mr Wedde.

Born in 1931 in the Te Aupouri community of Taikarawa in the northern Hokianga, Hotere has inspired commentators and awed viewers for more than forty years.

Famous for his quiet reserve, and for his refusal to replace the experience of art with wordy explanations, Hotere is also known as a passionate advocate of causes, most famously his opposition to the proposal to build an aluminium smelter at Aramoana.

Hotere's themes are explored further by some of New Zealand's leading writers and critics in the accompanying exhibition catalogue. This lavish book contains full colour reproductions and essays which illuminate and honour a man who is regarded by many as New Zealand's most significant contemporary artist. Ralph Hotere Black Light has kindly been sponsored by Compaq.

ENDS

For further information contact: Vicki Connor Communications & Marketing Co-ordinator 04 381 7083 025 620 8321

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