No Ordinary Sun is one of Ralph Hotere’s most important paintings. It is a homage to Hone Tuwhare’s famous poem of the same title, that was the direct inspiration for this artwork.
Hotere and Tuwhare met during the late 1950s and the poet sent the painter a manuscript copy of No Ordinary Sun while Hotere was working in London during 1963. On the 21st anniversary of the poem’s publication, Hotere created this work.
This painting’s palette is predominantly black and dark brown umber mixed with Van Dyke brown and Verdigris that has subsequently been over-burnished with a polisher. The poem’s text has then been over-painted in a loose and cursive manner. The ivory-toned writing acts like clouds surrounding a darkened sun hovering over Earth. The seeming austerity of the painting is counterpoised with notions that the sun is occluded by a solar eclipse.
- No Ordinary Sun
- Production date
- enamel on board
- 1560 x 1180 mm
- Credit line
- Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Dame Jenny Gibbs in memory of Ralph Hotere, 2013
- Accession no
- Other ID
- 9402 Reference number (external institution)
- Copying restrictions apply
- New Zealand Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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