Lecture series Colin McCahon: Ron Brownson


event Details

The exhibition A Place to Paint: Colin McCahon in Auckland opens on 10 August, coinciding with the centenary of Colin McCahon’s birth in August 1919. McCahon arrived in Auckland in the early 1950s to work at Auckland Art Gallery. This move and his new role started an energetic period for the artist during which he balanced a successful working life with an increasingly productive time as an artist.

The exhibition’s focus lies in the significance of Auckland City on McCahon’s development as an artist and its presence in his painting. In the accompanying lecture series McCahon: Artist, Curator, Spouse, prominent guest speakers will unpack lesser-known stories about McCahon’s life and practice.

Lecture 5, Sun 10 Nov, 10.30am12.30pm
Ron Brownson – Painting as a Potent Way of Talking

For most of the 1960s Colin McCahon was Lecturer in Painting at Elam School of Fine Arts. While there, he initiated a number of ambitious projects which resulted in multi-panel paintings such as Landscape theme and variations (series A), 1963, Numerals, 1965 and The Way of the Cross 1965–66. These large-scale artworks bring together individual parts into panoramic images in where signs, symbols and place coalesce.

During the 1970s, the painter united spiritual notions surrounding journeys, departures and arrivals in paintings made at his Muriwai studio. While always connected with place, McCahon’s late paintings contrast lettered texts and scripted light, with spaces showing shifts occurring between day and night, as well as with time and symbol.

This illustrated lecture suggests ideas surrounding both looking at, and learning from, Colin McCahon’s later paintings.

About the speaker

Ron Brownson is Senior Curator New Zealand and Pacific Art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, where he has recently curated DiscoVERY; an interactive collaborative performance, music and video project between Fa’ani (Ani O’Neill) and RoBro (Rosanna Raymond) for the Creative Learning Centre. His interview with Andy Leleisi’uao was published in the catalogue to the artist’s current survey exhibition at the Wallace Arts Centre. He is currently working on the exhibition A Place to Paint: Colin McCahon in Auckland for the Gallery (with Julia Waite).

Please refer to our events page for information about the additional lectures and the guest speakers that feature within this series.

Artwork credit: 
A Place to Paint: Colin McCahon in Auckland, (installation view), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2019. 



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