Anthony Treadwell

Three Kings Quarry I, Auckland

Three Kings Quarry I, Auckland by Anthony Treadwell

Artwork Detail

Between 1938 and 1948, Anthony Treadwell made a small but impressive group of paintings that combine architectural subjects with carefully chosen landscapes. From 1938 until 1942, he exhibited at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington and received attention for this painting in reviews and journals like Art in New Zealand.

After joining the Royal New Zealand Air Force, he contributed to the national touring exhibition Artists in Uniform. When he enrolled at the Auckland University College of Architecture, he began a group of paintings that looked at industrial and recreational architecture in both urban and rural localities.

This research into the connection between landscape and architecture resulted in paintings such as 'Te Awamutu Grandstand' 1948 (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) and the present work. In the same year, he painted an important mural in the first Group house.

Urban architecture is uncommon in New Zealand painting and Three Kings Quarry, Auckland is a fascinating instance of the moment when figuration and abstraction were beginning to co-exist. The painting is a view from one of the Three Kings volcanic cones to the other two, with a distant view to One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie). The inclusion of a foreground that is consists entirely of scoria indicates the degree to which the site has been transformed by quarrying. The scoria crusher contrasts with the sunlit bushes while also showing that the surrounding area is still open land and not the State housing zone that surrounds that part of Mt Albert.

Three Kings Quarry I, Auckland
Anthony Treadwell
Production date
oil on pinex board
520 x 1045 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with funds from The Ilene and Laurence Dakin Bequest with assistance from Jeremy Treadwell and Clemency Thomson, Sarah Treadwell and David Veart, 2013
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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