Colin McCahon, Partridge St ; Gordon H. Brown; 1968; 2014.016
Colin McCahon, Partridge St
1968Medium and Materials
380mm x 450mm
Colin McCahon was a prominent artist in New Zealand. Along with Toss Woollaston and Rita Angus, he is credited for introducing modernism to New Zealand art in the early twentieth century.
Born in Timaru, McCahon's interest in art was stimulated by his grandfather William Ferrier who was a photographer and landscape colourist. Another early influence was Toss Woollaston, whose work McCahon came across as a young man and whose unique perspective provided lasting inspiration. After attending art classes with Russell Clark, he enrolled in the tutorage of Robert N. Field. In 1942 McCahon married artist Anne Hamblett (1915-1993), with whom he had four children.
After working as a tutor at the Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland for 6 years, McCahon left in 1971 to paint full time. The 1970s were productive for McCahon - in 1972 the Auckland Art Gallery presented a second retrospective of his work (the first, alongside Toss Woollaston, was held in 1963). By the late 1970s however, McCahon's health had started to deteriorate as a result of his long struggle with alcoholism and a descent into dementia. He died in Auckland Hospital in May 1987.
McCahon's small home in French Bay where he and his family lived has now been set up to host a contemporary artist's residency in honor of the late painters role as a mentor and teacher. Some notable former residents include Dan Arps, Martin Basher, Lisa Reihana and Judy Millar.
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