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Michael Shepherd - Reinventing History Painting

23 February 2019 - 9 June 2019

Waikato Museum, Hamilton, New Zealand


Upoko Wairua, Souvenirs of Time, 1988. Oil on canvas, 225 x 454mm. Chartwell Collection

Michael Shepherd: Reinventing History Painting is the first major retrospective exhibition of Michael Shepherd's career, bringing together a vast selection of 'historical' paintings from public and private collections, including four from the Chartwell Collection. Shepherd's interest in the potential of representation and the process of painting combine with a specifically 'New Zealand' sense of history painting. His works interpret, commentate and symbolise the historical landscape of the Waikato in a highly personal manner informed by his youth. 

Study for Time is a River without Banks, 1988. Ink on washi paper, Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.


 

Study for Time is a River without Banks, 1988. Ink and paper on washi paper, Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

These studies for Time is a River without Banks are the beginning of an ambitious seven panel painting (below). The still life panels represent the post-war community in his home region, speaking to the ties and divides between time, Māori, Pākehā and the river. Shepherd's interest in the passing of time was reflected upon again when the work was first exhibited, accompanied by a tribute to his father's birth and departure from Ngaaruawaahia: "For all the people who saw life on both sides of the river between 1918 and 1960."

Time is a River without Banks, Time is a Dark Still Life at Ngaruawahia, 1988. Oil on torsion box panels, 580 x 5940mm, Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

This exhibition is curated by Emeritus Professor Elizabeth Rankin, Department of Art History, University of Auckland. The exhibition is free entry, and closes on the 9th of June 2019 at Waikato Museum.

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