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Canterbury Vignette Series Starts Soon

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Canterbury Vignette Series
Robert McDougall Art Gallery & Contemporary Art Annex
Starting 5th February 2000

The Canterbury Vignette Series is a 150th anniversary series of historical vignette exhibitions comprising the work of eight artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Canterbury Vignettes will run over the next twelve months with each vignette surveying the most important aspect of the artist’s work. The exhibitions will include work from the McDougall collection as well as from other sources.

The series exhibition begins with John Gibb who was regarded as New Zealand’s major professional marine painter in the 1880s. A traditionalist, Gibb aligned himself with the picturesque style akin to such artists as Sam Brough, Joesph Farquarson, Alfred de Breanski Snr. And John Harvey Oswald. He followed the academic practice of sketching the landscape and gathering information which was later worked up in the studio with an intense attention to detail. This exhibition will include twenty two of Gibb’s paintings.

The second vignette showcases the work of Alfred Walsh. Walsh was part of the plein air movement that emerged in New Zealand in the 1880s. Working spontaneously, Walsh responded to his subjects with a unique clarity of vision and an attention to light and colour which was uncommon among many of his contemporaries. Walsh first started exhibiting in the late 1870s while a student at Dunedin School of Fine Art. From 1883 his paintings were seen at annual society exhibitions in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. His favourite places were in the Otira region, Kaikoura and Westland and watercolours made at these locations were sent to the major international exhibitions in Australia as early as 1888. This exhibition displays Walsh’s work from 1884 to 1913.

John Gibb, Marine Artist 1831 – 1909 opens on 5th February and runs until 5th March 2000. Alfred Walsh, Watercolourist 1839 – 1916 runs from February 12th until March 12th, 2000. Other vignettes will cover the work of Charles Kidson, Leonard Booth, Grace Butler, Archibald Nicoll, Richard and Elizabeth Wallwork, and Francis Shurrock.

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