Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy

Opens Whangarei Art Museum Te Manawa Toi

17 February – 20 April 2014

The Whangarei Art Museum will be hosting the national touring exhibition The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy, curated by leading art critic, curator, and poet Gregory O’Brien ONZM, showcasing the charmingly anarchic illustrations of this well-respected but little-known artist.

In 2012 O’Brien was the recipient of the Arts Foundation Laureate Award marking a pivotal moment in his career. At the start of the New Year 2014, Gregory O’Brien was among the distinguished recipients to be made a Member of the Order of Merit in recognition of his services to the arts.

O’Brien worked as a journalist in Northland before entering Auckland University to study art history and English. His significant contribution to literature was acknowledged in 2012 when he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement for Non-Fiction. His recent publications include A Micronaut in the Wide World: The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy (2011) and a monograph of NZ artist Pat Hanly (2012), both of which are available to view in the gallery.

Graham Percy

‘A micronaut in the wide world' the imaginative life and times of Graham Percy’ rediscovers the life and work of one of New Zealand’s most talented and original artists. Percy left this country in the mid-1960s and became a hugely respected artist/illustrator/typographer overseas, while at the same time producing a remarkable body of his own independent art.

This exhibition, and the major publication that accompanies it, celebrates Percy’s achievement as a published illustrator as well as bringing to light a significant body of work never seen before.

His works are held in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland, yet—since his early years in Auckland--they have never been exhibited publicly in New Zealand.

Born in Stratford in 1939, Graham Percy studied at Elam School of Fine Arts before embarking on a career as an illustrator/designer/artist. A contemporary of Greer Twiss, Don Binney, Mervyn Williams and Hamish Keith, Percy was taught by Robert Ellis and Michael Nicholson. Percy was a pivotal figure in the design and illustration of the New Zealand School Journal in the early 1960s, before transplanting to London, where he illustrated over 100 books. His art appeared in John Berger’s groundbreaking television series and book, Ways of Seeing (1972). In 1994, Chronicle Books (San Francisco) published a book of his drawings (for an adult readership), Arthouse. In 2007, a recent series of his drawings, ‘Imagined Histories’ was published in the United Kingdom.

In recent years, the art of Graham Percy has featured in a number of New Zealand publications, notably Cover Up –the art of the book cover in New Zealand, by Hamish Thompson (Random House 2007), which included his well-known covers for such iconic books as The End of the Golden Weather and The Pohutukawa Tree. Percy’s art is a major presence in A Nest of Singing Birds; 100 Years of the New Zealand School Journal, by Gregory O’Brien (Learning Media, 2007) and his art also featured in O’Brien’s Back and Beyond—New Zealand Painting for the Young and Curious (Auckland University Press, 2008).

Like the work of all the great illustrators, Percy’s drawings communicate on many levels—they engage intellectually as well as emotionally. They can be playful and profound at the same time. Although Percy lived for the past forty years in London, his works are often gloriously (and refreshingly) New Zealand-centred. They are a singular playing out of the expatriate condition—they can be funny, touching, insightful, occasionally alarming, but always utterly engaging.

The exhibition and publication will also be a paean to the art of drawing, to the exquisite beauty of the hand-drawn line, to the ink pen and the lead pencil.

The Imaginative Life and Times of Graham Percy is curated and developed by Gregory O’Brien in partnership with Exhibition Services Tours, in association with City Gallery Wellington and Gus Fisher Gallery, The University of Auckland. All artworks courtesy of the Graham Percy Family Trust.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Scoop Review Of Books: Excerpt - Ice Bear: The Cultural History Of An Arctic Icon

“During the last decade the image of the polar bear has moved in the public imagination from being an icon of strength, independence and survival in one of the most climatically extreme of world environments, to that of fragility, vulnerability and more generally of a global environmental crisis.” More>>

NZ Opera: Max Rashbrooke Reviews The Mikado

So concerns about the work of the piece have to be addressed; but they are complex, and probably better handled in another post. So what about this production itself? More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: The Typewriter Factory

I finished reading Don’t Dream It’s Over not long after it came out last August. I even started writing a review, which took something of an ‘I’m sorry people, but it’s already over’ approach. I’ve been pretty negative about journalism as it’s practiced in the mainstream (or MSM, or corporate media or liberal media or whatever terminology you prefer) for quite some time (see for example Stop the Press), and I believe the current capitalist media model is destructive and can’t be reformed. More>>

Sheep Update: Solo World Shearing Record Broken In Southland

Southland shearer Leon Samuels today set a new World solo eight-hours strongwool ewe-shearing after a tally of 605 in a wool shed north of Gore. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Dick Frizzell At The Solander Gallery

One of the most influential and celebrated contemporary Pop artists working in New Zealand, Dick Frizzell is mostly known for his appropriation of kitsch Kiwiana icons, which he often incorporates into cartoon-like paintings and lithographs. Not content with adhering to one particular style, he likes to adopt consciously unfashionable styles of painting, in a manner reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein. More>>

Old Music: Pop Icon Adam Ant Announces NZ Tour

Following his recent sold out North American and UK tours, Adam Ant is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the release of his landmark KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER album with a newly-remastered reissue (Sony Legacy) and Australasian tour. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news