Russell Clark

Tuhoe woman

Artwork Detail

An official war artist during the Second World War and an accomplished sculptor and illustrator, Russell Clark began his career in Dunedin working as a commercial artist. Later he taught at the Canterbury School of Art, where his students included Colin McCahon, Doris Lusk and Pat Hanly. He contributed sketches to the Department of Education's School Journal in the 1940s and his illustrations for the publication Ruatähuna, a Mäori Village were highly acclaimed. Attracted to indigenous New Zealanders as subject matter, Clark portrayed Mäori in an unsentimental way. He journeyed to remote rural areas to study his subjects' gestures and expressions and his works revealed them as individuals rather than racial types. A trip into Te Urewera in 1949 provided inspiration for Tühoe Woman and Head of a Tühoe Mäori, made a year later. Tühoe Woman is a contemplative work, in which Clark's command of sculptural form is evident. His work underwent many changes of style and he reacted quickly to new media and to the work of other artists. The influence of British sculptor Henry Moore is apparent in his non-figurative works, particularly his public sculpture. The 1958 Anchor Stones, commissioned for the Bledisloe Building in Auckland's Wellesley Street, is a fine example - a tribute to two great Mäori migration vessels, Mätähourua and Tainui. (from The Guide, 2001)

Tuhoe woman
Russell Clark
Production date
circa 1957
335 x 130 x 250 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, The Ilene and Laurence Dakin Bequest, purchased 1996
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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