Wilfred Stanley Wallis

Road at Rotoiti

Road at Rotoiti by Wilfred Stanley Wallis

Artwork Detail

Wilfred Stanley Wallis was one of the first New Zealand artists after World War II to grapple with the tension between figuration and abstraction.

'Road at Lake Rotoiti' is a key instance of the artist rendering volumetric forms within an image of deep space. Having studied reproductions of Cezanne’s paintings, the artist decided that he should explore one view in a variety of ways, with each version becoming more experimental.

This painting is one of three versions, the others being with Ynys Fraser (the artist’s daughter) and the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust Heritage collection. This version, which is the last example in the sequence, plays with abstraction by transforming the landscape’s forms into solid geometric volumes.

Throughout the 1950s, Dr Wallis experimented with abstraction. Encouraged by both Charles Tole and John Weeks, he selected subjects surrounding Lake Rotoiti and the Mamaku Ranges, which he returned to over a number of years.

Road at Rotoiti
Wilfred Stanley Wallis
Production date
circa 1950
oil on board
406 x 470 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, The Ilene and Laurence Dakin Bequest, purchased 2012
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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