Colin McCahon

Titirangi cupboard door

Titirangi cupboard door by Colin McCahon

Artwork Detail

This work was made by Colin McCahon as a kitchen cupboard door for his house in French Bay, where he lived with his wife Anne and family from 1953 through to 1960. The work consists of a panel, set in a wooden frame, with a doorknob screwed into the right-hand side. Rather than being hung on hinges, the door has eyelets attached to the back, and slid along a brass rod to cover the cupboard behind. The painting is highly abstracted, consisting of faceted shapes over which circular forms float. Similarities in form and colour can be seen between this work and McCahon’s Kauri paintings of around this period and Moss (1956). A distinction however is the sharp angularity of cupboard door, when compared to the organic forms of Moss and the Kauri paintings.

Titirangi cupboard door is an example of McCahon’s wider creative endeavours. He painted objects ranging from the tables of the Art Gallery coffee shop to the writer Maurice Shadbolt’s sink-unit bar. Due to the everyday nature of these objects many of them have not survived and few have entered public collections. Titirangi cupboard door is an intriguing example, described as a "practical painting"; it is a painter’s solution to a design problem, functioning both as cupboard door and painting. Such objects demonstrate the singularity of McCahon’s vision and the way it extended well beyond the bounds of his canvases.

Titirangi cupboard door
Production date
circa 1953
oil on plywood
685 x 545 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Jacqueline Amoamo, 2004
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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