Melvin Day

Boats in Wellington Harbour

Boats in Wellington Harbour by Melvin Day

Artwork Detail

This painting of Wellington wharves at night is a significant upshot of Day's experience of studying the work of modernist artists such as Pablo Picasso and George Braque, while he was living in Europe. The Cubist practice of interlocking planes was still, even in mid-20th century New Zealand, a radical form of visual practice. This moody painting's industrial subject was innovative for the period and shows how conventional definitions of 'beauty' were being overcome by a more rigorous search for pictorial meaning. The gritty parallel of cranes with hills shows how much expertise Day had for relating geometry to place.

Boats in Wellington Harbour
Melvin Day
Production date
oil on board
548 x 462 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2001
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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