A Place to Paint: Colin McCahon in Auckland

A Place to Paint: Colin McCahon in Auckland

Exhibition Details

A Place to Paint: Colin McCahon in Auckland considers McCahon’s long-time relationship with Auckland and the significance of the physical, spiritual and cultural landscape on his painting.

Colin McCahon moved to Auckland from Christchurch in May 1953 to begin work at Auckland City Art Gallery. McCahon’s geographical shift north brought about a change in the focus of his art – from the human figure, and grandeur of southern landscapes, to his more local environment. He purchased a cottage for his family at French Bay, and set about painting the regenerating kauri forest that surrounded his home, and the Manukau Harbour at the end of the road.

For the next three decades, his painting responded to the landscapes around his homes and studios in the Waitakeres, inner-city Auckland and Muriwai. McCahon also created works that became part of Auckland’s built environment – including the artworks commissioned for the Convent Chapel of Our Lady of the Missions at Remuera, which will be shown publicly with other large scale paintings from the 1960s. The 1970s and early 1980s will be represented by major paintings created at the Muriwai studio.

On the occasion of this exhibition, the Gallery has published the e-publication, Working towards Meaning – The Restoration of Colin McCahon’s Chapel Windows.  

Don't miss our concurrent Colin McCahon exhibitions including, From the Archive: Colin McCahon in Auckland and The Wake: A Poem in the Forest,  free to view on Ground level. 

Date
Curated by
Ron Brownson and Julia Waite

Selected artworks

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On display

May His Light Shine (Tau Cross)
May His Light Shine (Tau Cross)

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1978-1979
Medium
synthetic polymer paint on unstretched canvas
Size (h x w)
1875 x 2380 mm
Credit line
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 1980
Accession no
C1994/1/64
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On display

Moby Dick is sighted off Muriwai: a necessary case for protection
Moby Dick is sighted off Muriwai: a necessary case for protection

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1972
Medium
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Size (h x w)
549 x 1270 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, on loan from a private collection
Accession no
L1998/28/59
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On display

Titirangi
Titirangi

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1956-1957
Medium
oil on canvas on board
Size (h x w)
910 x 1458 x 8 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Wellington, 2002
Accession no
2002/11/2
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On display

Imprisonment and Reprieve
Imprisonment and Reprieve

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1978-1979
Medium
acrylic on paper
Size (h x w)
2733 x 1310 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1980
Accession no
1980/7.1-3
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On display

Titirangi
Titirangi

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1956
Medium
watercolour and gouache
Size (h x w)
540 x 736 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1965
Accession no
1965/22/2
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On display

Here I give thanks to Mondrian
Here I give thanks to Mondrian

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1961
Medium
oil (alkyd) on hardboard
Size (h x w)
1215 x 915 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Friends of the Auckland Art Gallery, 1964
Accession no
1964/9/3
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On display

Will he save him?
Will he save him?

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1959
Medium
oil ("Solpah") on hardboard
Size (h x w)
1220 x 900 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the artist, 1982
Accession no
1982/7/1
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On display

Jump E9
Jump E9

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1974
Medium
acrylic on canvas
Size (h x w)
263 x 307 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Barry Perkins, 1997
Accession no
1997/23
Jump E9

Colin McCahon

On display

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On display

Elias triptych
Elias triptych

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1959
Medium
oil ("Solpah"), sand on three hardboard panels
Size (h x w)
1219 x 838 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1982
Accession no
1982/14/4.1-3
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On display

Landscape theme and variations (series A)
Landscape theme and variations (series A)

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1963
Medium
oil on eight unstretched jute canvases
Size (h x w)
1750 x 840 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the McCahon Family, 1988
Accession no
1989/51/2/1-8
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On display

Angels and bed no. 4 : Hi-fi
Angels and bed no. 4 : Hi-fi

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1976-1977
Medium
acrylic on canvas
Size (h x w)
3440 x 5440 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Auckland Art Gallery, 1977
Accession no
1977/31
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On display

Numerals
Numerals

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1965
Medium
PVA on board
Size (h x w)
1220 x 915 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the McCahon Family, 1988
Accession no
1989/51/3/1-13
Numerals

Colin McCahon

On display

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On display

The Large Jump
The Large Jump

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1973
Medium
synthetic polymer paint on unstretched canvas
Size (h x w)
2760 x 1810 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Colin McCahon, 1988
Accession no
1989/50/1
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On display

House in trees, Titirangi
House in trees, Titirangi

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1953
Medium
oil on cardboard
Size (h x w)
533 x 608 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Una Platts, 2003
Accession no
2003/50
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On display

Elias triptych
Elias triptych

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1959
Medium
oil ("Solpah"), sand on three hardboard panels
Size (h x w)
1219 x 838 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1982
Accession no
1982/14/4.1-3
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On display

Rocks at French Bay
Rocks at French Bay

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1959
Medium
ink and oil on unstretched canvas
Size (h x w)
1960 x 1925 mm
Credit line
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 1987
Accession no
C1994/1/210
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On display

Are there not twelve hours of daylight
Are there not twelve hours of daylight

Colin McCahon

On display

Production date
1970
Medium
synthetic polymer paint on unstretched canvas
Size (h x w)
2070 x 2600 mm
Credit line
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, in special recognition of E.W. Gardiner, 1985
Accession no
C1994/1/144

Related events

View Event
Colin McCahon: I Am
Colin McCahon: I Am

3pm

Free

This award-winning documentary looks at the life and work of New Zealand's most celebrated painter, Colin McCahon

Colin McCahon: I Am

3pm

Free

View Event
Peter Simpson – Cubism comes to Titirangi
Peter Simpson – Cubism comes to Titirangi

2–3pm

Free

Join writer, editor, critic, curator and former academic, Peter Simpson for his insight into the work produced by Colin McCahon on his arrival in Auckland in 1953.