Ian Scott

Colour Card Family

Colour Card Family by Ian Scott

Artwork Detail

This artwork is considered to be the first ‘photographic appropriation’ painted in New Zealand. It utilises a mass produced pamphlet advertising a colour palette for exterior weatherboard homes. Ian Scott copied a mass reproduction pamphlet of an illustrator’s gouache painting showing a nuclear New Zealand family gathered in front of their contemporary weatherboard home whose cladding is painted in pastel green but whose shadows are rendered as acid yellow. This is the sort of suburban house Ian Scott saw being built throughout west Auckland during the early 1960s.

The notion of re-employing existing brand and advertising material as the basis for contemporary painting had not occurred previously in New Zealand. It is no coincidence that the artist reveals his familiarity with collages such as Richard Hamilton’s 1956 collage Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? and Andy Warhol’s paintings from the Soup Can series (1962-1966).

Living in West Auckland, Scott encountered daily the mass suburban housing developments promoted by Keith Hay Homes and Universal Homes. Scott had been collecting brochures and advertisements for tourism, housing schemes and interior design. He particularly liked the Taubmans Paint Company’s homely colour cards that replicated colour schemes in a contemporary family idiom. By using found imagery and Pop ideas about everyday appropriation, Scott both celebrates and critiques suburban Auckland.

Colour Card Family is an important addition to the Gallery’s representation of New Zealand painting; it introduces humour, irony and an anti-parochial response to contemporary subject matter.

Colour Card Family
Ian Scott
Production date
acrylic on canvas
1730 x 1730 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Nan Corson and Chris Corson-Scott, 2014
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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