Dunedin born, Doris Lusk (1916-1990) trained as a painter under Gordon Tovey and Robert Field at the Dunedin School of Art (1934-38). Later, at Christchurch, she took lessons from Russell Clark. Lusk became a leading New Zealand modernist painter and was a close associate of Rita Angus, Colin McCahon and Toss Woollaston. After a successful career as a commercial artist, she became an influential teacher and mentor of young artists at the Canterbury University School of Fine Art (1967-81).
Doris Lusk's 1976 watercolours entitled Arcade Awnings are some of her most significant works. As a suite it results from sketches that she made during an art tour of Italy, from late 1974 to September 1975. This major late series presents views of the Piazza Maggiore at Bologna and Saint Mark's Square at Venice. Lusk was fascinated with the ways in which the arches surrounding these public squares were draped with voluminous cotton fabric during summertime. Lusk always based her oil and watercolour paintings on direct outdoor sketches, and the Arcade Awnings bring together many sketches made over weeks of direct study.
The Gallery acquired this suite, created with watercolour and pencil, in 1980 after it had extensively toured New Zealand. Arcade Awnings is considered to be one of Doris Lusk's most ambitious works.
- Curated by
- Ron Brownson
- Main Gallery
- Free entry