Rita Angus: New Zealand Modernist

Rita Angus: New Zealand Modernist
Charlotte Davy, Head of Art, and Lizzie Bisley, Curator Modern Art, with Rita Angus’ Marjorie Marshall (1938-39/1943). © Reproduced courtesy of the Estate of Rita Angus. Photo by Jack Fisher, 2019. Te Papa

What: Celebrating 40 years of work by an icon, Rita Angus: New Zealand Modernist comes to Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa from December.

The landmark exhibition includes around 70 works by one of our most important 20th-century artists, examining a remarkable body of drawings, watercolours and paintings produced over the course of her life.

Te Papa’s Head of Art Charlotte Davy says the show highlights Angus’ huge contemporary relevance.

“The exhibition will draw out the themes of pacifism, feminism and nature that shaped so much of Angus’ work,” she says.

Iconic works from across Angus’ career such as Rutu, 1951, Cleopatra, 1938, Central Otago, 1953–56/1969, and Cass, 1936, will be on display along with Te Papa’s significant recent acquisition, Marjorie Marshall, which was painted at a pivotal moment in Angus’ career.

“Angus decided to leave commercial work and commit to being a full-time artist. This portrait forms part of a group of works that Angus painted of close friends during this period,” says Davy.

The exhibition is accompanied by a full catalogue, Rita Angus: A Survey, featuring all the works in the show and anchored by two major essays by Angus’ biographer Jill Trevelyan and Dr Adrian Locke, Senior Curator at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. 

Where: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 55 Cable Street, Wellington

When: 18 December 2021 – 25 April 2022

The exhibition will be on display at Te Papa’s Toi Art and entry is free. For more info, visit tepapa.govt.nz

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