Ocula MagazineContentsView All
Featured ContentView All
58th Venice Biennale: May You Live In Interesting Times Ocula Report 58th Venice Biennale: May You Live In Interesting Times 24 May 2019 : Mohammad Salemy for Ocula

The 58th Venice Biennale, May You Live In Interesting Times (11 May–24 November 2019), certainly benefitted from low expectations, given the lacklustre curatorial of the previous edition, when different segments of the show were conceptually framed with titles like 'Pavilion of Joys and Fears' and 'Pavilion of Colours'. Add to this the...

Read More
Zheng Bo Ocula Conversation Zheng Bo

Hong Kong-based artist Zheng Bo's social, ecological, and community-engaged art practice has, in recent years, focused on moving beyond a human-centred perspective to an all-inclusive, multi-species approach. He takes up marginalised plants and communities of people as subjects in his large-scale interventions, which reintroduce wildness into...

Read More
Auckland Art Fair 2019: Conversations Extended Ocula Report Auckland Art Fair 2019: Conversations Extended 24 May 2019 : Sherry Paik for Ocula

The weather was clement for the annual Auckland Art Fair (2–5 May 2019), which was again at The Cloud on Queens Wharf. This year's edition was a get-together of 41 galleries, mostly from around Auckland and across New Zealand, with 5 spaces hailing from Sydney and the rest from Cook Islands (Bergman Gallery), Hobart (Michael Bugelli Gallery),...

Read More

Gordon Walters

(1919 - 1995), New Zealand

In the mid-1960s, Gordon Walters emerged as a unique presence in the modern movement in New Zealand. His works engaging with international modernism in a series of geometric, abstract paintings that positioned the traditional, organic koru form of Māori art within the aesthetics of European and American abstraction.

Walters had attended the Wellington Technical School of Art, New Zealand (1935-1944), becoming interested in European modernism through reproductions of works by Yves Tanguy and his association with Dutch refugee, Theo Schoon, who introduced Walters to Māori rock art.

Travelling to Europe in 1950, he was exposed to works by Mondrian, as well as the pure abstraction of Victor Vasarely. In the mid fifties he had researched Māori rafter painting and decorative design by visiting museums with fellow artist Theo Schoon and analyzing the forms. Walters modified the fern motif found in Maori meeting houses and traditional Polynesian tattoos, by geometricizing it and alternating positive and negative versions in the manner of the Italian painter Giuseppe Caprogrossi (1900 -1972) but with a horizontal axis. From the mid-1950s his painting utilized this koru form, , responding to its potential for simultaneously defining positive and negative space on the surface of the picture plane.

Using black and white (softened sometimes to grey and cream) Walters’ canvases created a pulsing musicality. When the korus were vertically stacked, an optical shimmer akin to that found in the works of Bridget Riley, occurred. Or when sparely organized, a subtle lyricism was created. Walters also often experimented with muted colour and dramatically enlarged korus, always settling on final composition and scale by adjusting preparatory collages.

In the mid nineteen-eighties Walters abandoned korus and began using austere rectanglar planar compositions that investigated tensions and spatial suggestiveness resulting from transparency, colour, tone and proportion. These were a result of his long interest in the French abstract artist Herbin, the American abstract artist McLaughlin and forms found in Māori cave art.

This much revered figure of New Zealand modernism is represented in all New Zealand’s major collections as well as public collections in Australia. In 1983 the Auckland Art Gallery presented a retrospective.

Read More

Featured Artworks

View All (27)
Untitled by Gordon Walters contemporary artwork Gordon WaltersUntitled, 1992 Acrylic on canvas
51 x 41 cm
Starkwhite
Untitled by Gordon Walters contemporary artwork Gordon WaltersUntitled, 1990 Acrylic on canvas
51 x 41 cm
Starkwhite
Untitled II by Gordon Walters contemporary artwork Gordon WaltersUntitled II, 1953 Gouache on paper
45 x 56 cm
Starkwhite
Untitled by Gordon Walters contemporary artwork Gordon WaltersUntitled, 1948 Acrylic on board
50 x 40 cm
Starkwhite
Untitled by Gordon Walters contemporary artwork Gordon WaltersUntitled Acrylic on canvas
48 x 36 cm
Starkwhite
Untitled by Gordon Walters contemporary artwork Gordon WaltersUntitled, 1969–1973 Acrylic on canvas
48 x 36 cm
Starkwhite
Study for No. 2/Tirangi by Gordon Walters contemporary artwork Gordon WaltersStudy for No. 2/Tirangi, 1979 Acrylic on paper
25 x 20 cm
Starkwhite
Untitled by Gordon Walters contemporary artwork Gordon WaltersUntitled, 1978 PVA and acrylic on canvas
150 x 120 cm
Starkwhite

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Gordon Walters, Gordon Walters at Starkwhite, Auckland
Closed
29 May–16 June 2018 Gordon Walters Gordon Walters Starkwhite, Auckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Gordon Walters, Gouaches and a Painting from the 1950s at Starkwhite, Auckland
Closed
21 September–24 October 2015 Gordon Walters Gouaches and a Painting from the 1950s Starkwhite, Auckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Show - in association with mr. mod, So Last Century at Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
Closed
13 June–12 July 2014 Group Show - in association with mr. mod So Last Century Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Auckland Art Exhibitions: The Lowdown Ocula Report Auckland Art Exhibitions: The Lowdown 22 May 2018 : Anna Dickie for Ocula

The time is ripe to galvanise New Zealand's public to more fully support its visual arts. With New Zealand-born artists like Simon Denny, Michael Stevenson and Francis Upritchard continuing to gain international acclaim, and a Turner Prize nominee in Luke Willis Thompson, the international art world is beginning to take notice of this small...

Read More

Sign up to be notified when new artworks and exhibitions by Gordon Walters are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

iCal GoogleYahooOutlook