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British drawings collection exhibition to open

Outstanding British drawings collection exhibition to open in Wellington

One of the finest collection of noted British drawings including two pieces by New Zealand’s Frances Hodgkins feature in an exhibition, opening in Wellington on November 15. The Ferner Galleries exhibition includes 47 drawings and watercolours by leading British-based artists of the early 20th century such as Sir Stanley Spencer, Augustus John and Henry Moore.

The majority of the art works in the exhibition were created in England between 1910 and the 1960s which was a particularly innovative and fertile period of British art.’’

Two works by New Zealand’s Frances Hodgkins are also included in the show and reflect the important contribution she made to British modernism.

``The artists in the exhibition collectively represent the high point of the British modern movement,’’ Ferner Galleries managing director Helene Phillips said today.

``British art has long been admired by New Zealanders. Many of the artists represented in the Ferner Galleries exhibition have works held in New Zealand's Public Galleries. The Auckland Art Gallery has some key work by British artists.

Auckland Art Gallery recently showed a Stanley Spencer exhibition which confirms, along with Te Papa's 2002 Moore exhibition that New Zealanders remain keenly interested in British art. Augustus John, one of the artists featured, was the subject of an exhibition held this year at Tate Modern in London.

A recent resurgence of interest in mid-century British art was fuelled by an exhibition of sculpture by Henry Moore Journey Through Form at Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington in 2002.

The British High Commissioner to New Zealand, Richard Fell, will attend a special private opening of the gallery on November 14.

Other artists’ works in the exhibition include Edward Ardizzone, Robert Bevan, David Bomberg, John Buckland Wright, Cecil Collins, Sir Robin Darwin, Frank Dobson, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Eric Gill, Anthony Gross, James Dickson Innes, David Jones, Henry Lamb, Owen Merton, John Minton, Mervyn Peake, Lucien Pissarro, Ceri Richards, William Roberts, Leonard Rosoman, John Maynard Smith, Sir Stanley Spencer, Graham Sutherland and Leon Underwood.

Christopher Johnstone, the former director of the Auckland Art Gallery, who has written the essay and notes for the catalogue has extensive experience with international and British art and has worked at such prestigious institutions as the Tate in London and the Heide Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne.

The exhibition later moves to the Ferner Gallery in Parnell, Auckland, showing from December 6 to January 30.


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