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Exhibition Celebrates Abstraction from The Dowse Collection

14 April 2014

New Exhibition Celebrates Abstraction from The Dowse Collection

Eye-popping colour, pattern and surprise await visitors to Short Traditions, opening 18 April at The Dowse Art Museum. Cutting a visual slice through The Dowse collection, the exhibition highlights abstraction across painting, sculpture, glass and ceramics. Some of the works in this exhibition are iconic favourites, some are new acquisitions, while other works have not been shown for many years.

Senior Curator Emma Bugden says that abstraction often gets a bad rap as being the pointy- headed end of art. “Abstraction is the absence of a picture or story. Instead, what we are left with are the extraordinary possibilities of colour, shape and line. It’s a human instinct to respond to pattern or the way colours relate to each other. Visitors of all ages will find something that catches their eye in this show.”

During the late 1970s significant works were bought for The Dowse, by then Director Jim Barr, from artists who would come to define abstraction in New Zealand—Milan Mrkusich, Gordon Walters, Ralph Hotere, Colin McCahon, Gretchen Albrecht, Don Peebles and Ian Scott. The exhibition also includes several works from the private collection of Jim Barr and Mary Barr which are on long-term loan at The Dowse.

The Dowse collection of abstract works reflects the museum’s long held desire to highlight key developments in New Zealand art by artists of significance. It was the establishment of the collection during the 1970s that put The Dowse on the road to becoming the nationally important cultural centre that it is today.

Named after an artwork by Simon Denny, the exhibition Short Traditions demonstrates our short but rich tradition of collecting. The show celebrates the diversity of abstraction and reveals remarkable gems from four decades of collecting.

Exhibition details:
Short Traditions
Abstraction from The Dowse Collection, curated by Emma Bugden
18 April – 3 Aug 2014 | FREE Entry


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