In this remarkable study by the late Francis Pound, author of the landmark Invention of New Zealand, we are introduced to the making of a New Zealand modernist – tracing the work of Gordon Walters (1919-1995) from student charcoal sketches in the 1930s to the revelation of the mature Koru works at the 1966 New Vision Gallery exhibition in Auckland.
Pound follows Walters through steps and missteps, explorations and diversions, travel in Aotearoa and overseas, as the artist discovers new forms, invents others and discards many more. Pound looks hard at the paint, the brushes, the rulers, the scrapbooks, to reveal an artist at work. And, resolutely internationalist like the artist, the author provides not only astute insights into Walters’ art, but also a guide to the elements and ideas that informed the work – notably, Maori and Pacific art, surrealism, Mondrian, De Stijl, the Bauhaus and Euro-American abstraction, conceptual art and minimalism.
With Francis Pound accompanying us through the work as guide, critic, wit and enthusiast, Gordon Walters is an extraordinary journey into twentieth-century art.
Imprint: Auckland University Press
Publication date: 14/09/2023
Illustrator: Walters, Gordon