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Colin McCahon: A Question of Faith

Legendary New Zealand artist
receives international recognition

Colin McCahon: A Question of Faith

Colin McCahon Practical religion – the resurrection of Lazarus showing Mount Martha 1969-70
Acrylic on unstretched canvas
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington
Purchased 1985, New Zealand Lottery Grants Board with assistance from the Molly Morpeth Canaday Fund

The life and work of New Zealand's most important 20th century artist, Colin McCahon, is now being recognised and celebrated in the first large-scale solo exhibition of his work, Colin McCahon: A Question of Faith, at the renowned Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, which opens on 31 August.

The Stedelijk exhibition curated by Dr Marja Bloem and organised with the support of Auckland Art Gallery, draws together 78 of McCahon's works from collections all over the world. Twenty of the works come from the Auckland Art Gallery collections, while the balance have been drawn together from public and private sources in New Zealand, Australia and Europe, with many of the works never having been seen by the public before.

Colin McCahon: A Question of Faith is a survey show illustrating the development of McCahon's work from 1946 to the beginning of the 1980s. It focuses on the artist’s spiritual quest, demonstrating how he explored questions of faith, doubt, hope and eventually despair. The selection shows how McCahon sought to give visual representation to these existential issues of the human condition by using and modernising the Western Judeo-Christian artistic tradition.

The exhibition will tour to New Zealand after it closes at the Stedelijk, opening at the City Gallery, Wellington on 7 December. Aucklanders will be able to see the exhibition when it opens at Auckland Art Gallery on 29 March next year (until 15 June). It then tours to Australia, at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne from July to September 2003 and then the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney from 15 November 2003 to 26 January 2004.

Colin McCahon The Promised Land 1948
Oil on canvas
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand
Gift of the McCahon Family, 1988

Touring Exhibition Programme

The Netherlands
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 31 August – 10 November 2002

New Zealand
City Gallery, Wellington 7 December – 9 March 2003
Auckland Art Gallery 29 March – 15 June 2003

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne July – September 2003
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 15 November 2003 – 26 January 2004

Colin McCahon: A Question of Faith has been organised by the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam with support of the Auckland Art Gallery and is generously supported by several private sponsors in New Zealand and Australia and by Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa. The principal sponsor in New Zealand is Ernst & Young.

For further information please contact:

Claudine Bjorklund
Communications Coordinator
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
PO Box 5449
DDI: 64 9 307 7706
Fax: 64 9 302 1096

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