Split Level View Finder: Theo Schoon and New Zealand Art

Te Uru Schoon Installation Image

Installation View of Split Level View Finder at Te Uru Contemporary Gallery, 2020. Image by Sam Hartnett.

Split Level View Finder: Theo Schoon and New Zealand Art

  • Where

    City Gallery Wellington and Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery

  • When

    27 July 2019 - 14 June 2020

Theo Schoon (1915–85) is a controversial figure. He was born in Java to Dutch parents, but educated back in the Netherlands at the Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts. He arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1939, where he would become a catalyst for modernism. The first comprehensive exhibition of Schoon’s art in decades, Split Level View Finder rethinks his legacy for twenty-first–century Aotearoa.

This exhibition presents Schoon’s work as constantly in dialogue or dispute with other cultural forms and artists. He shared his interest in Māori art with Gordon Walters. Their works shared a close, decades-long conversation. In addition to Walters, the exhibition includes works by Rita Angus, A.R.D. Fairburn, Rolfe Hattaway, Dennis Knight Turner, Douglas MacDiarmid, Paratene Matchitt, Selwyn Muru, Arnold Wilson, and Ans Westra.

Split Level View Finder is curated by Dr Damian Skinner and Aaron Lister. The exhibition is supported by the City Gallery Foundation, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the Schoon Estate, and the Fletcher Trust. It will tour to Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Titirangi, Auckland, in early 2020. 

Installation Images


Installation View of (left to right): Wanderings in an Exhibition (c. 1965), Parade (c. 1967) and Done Up in Pins and Curlers (c. 1965)