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(1910 – 1998), New Zealand

Toss Woollaston Biography

Toss Woollaston briefly studied at the Dunedin School of Art (1932) under R. N. Field, an influential teacher who emphasised the importance to Woollaston of independent, artistic expression. In 1934, he settled in Mapua, in the north of the South Island of New Zealand, meeting Flora Scales who introduced him to Cézanne’s theories and providing him with an aesthetic framework that would serve the artist for the rest of his life. 

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As the Modern movement gained recognition in New Zealand in the late 1930s, Woollaston emerged as its most uncompromising exponent. His paintings ignored traditionally grand views of the landscape and his portraits disregarded social and flattering conventions. Although he struggled economically while living in Greymouth on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island (1949-68), his expressive, visionary work thrived and by 1963 he was painting fulltime. In 1979, he became the first New Zealander knighted for services to the arts. 

Woollaston has works in the permanent collections of all the main public art museums in New Zealand.  

Toss Woollaston Featured Artworks

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Trees Near Nelson by Toss Woollaston contemporary artwork
Toss WoollastonTrees Near Nelson, 1960Ink on paper
27.5 x 37.5 cm
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Trees Near Motueka by Toss Woollaston contemporary artwork
Toss WoollastonTrees Near Motueka, 1960Ink on paper
27.5 x 37.5 cm
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Sue Du Fresne by Toss Woollaston contemporary artwork
Toss WoollastonSue Du Fresne, 1960Ink on paper
37.5 x 27.5 cm
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Sawmill at Ruru by Toss Woollaston contemporary artwork
Toss WoollastonSawmill at Ruru, c. 1954Watercolour on paper
27.2 x 37.3 cm
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Reclining Woman by Toss Woollaston contemporary artwork
Toss WoollastonReclining Woman, 1960Pencil on paper
27.5 x 37.5 cm
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Takaka (pond and hill) by Toss Woollaston contemporary artwork
Toss WoollastonTakaka (pond and hill), 1961Pencil on paper
37.5 x 27.5 cm
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Toss Woollaston Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Beyond Kāpene Kuku / Captain Cook at Page Galleries, Wellington
Closed
1–31 August 2019 Group Exhibition Beyond Kāpene Kuku / Captain Cook Page GalleriesWellington
Contemporary art exhibition, Toss Woollaston, Toss Woollaston at Page Galleries, Wellington
Closed
14 February–2 March 2019 Toss Woollaston Page GalleriesWellington
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Landscape 2017 at Page Galleries, Wellington
Closed
6–31 July 2017 Group Exhibition Landscape 2017 Page GalleriesWellington

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