‘Looking for a new country’ – Christopher Perkins in New Zealand

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Design by Alice Bonifant and Sonya Lacey.

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‘Looking for a new country’ – Christopher Perkins in New Zealand


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Renowned as a vivid personality, British artist Christopher Perkins helped lay the foundations for modern art in New Zealand, producing a well-known body of landscape paintings as well as some of the most striking portraits of his era. This is the first publication to fully assess and document his contribution to New Zealand art history. It features new writing by art historians who offer fresh appraisals of Perkins and his work, together with a comprehensive anthology of historical documents written by and about the artist, from the 1930s to the 1990s.

‘Looking for a new country’ – Christopher Perkins in New Zealand is also a record of the 2019 exhibition of the same title at Victoria University of Wellington’s Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, which brought together more than thirty of his paintings and drawings made in response to the five years he spent in New Zealand between 1929 and 1933.

Asking why local art writers created a place for Perkins in their national canon, this is both an invaluable resource on the artist and a timely tool to critically reflect on the nature of the discipline of art history in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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