The genre of history painting was first introduced by the French Royal Academy in the seventeenth century and is considered one of the most important genres in the grand scheme of art history. These masterpieces were not focused on their artistic prowess despite being meticulously painted, but instead, the focus was on portraying a certain heroic event, religious, historical or mythical, through precise detail and immense scale. Christchurch based artist Darryn George’s new exhibition "Hikoi" is an attempt at history painting but with a contemporary, New Zealand approach.

The namesake of the exhibition and the main focus is the seven-paneled work "Hikoi" (2018). At over seven meters in length, this work is an abstract representation of an aerial view over the Red Sea as the waters are being blown back. Combining gestural abstraction with the intricate patterning of kōwhaiwhai, George overlays Māori text onto plumes of painted canvas to depict the journey of Israel from slavery through the Red Sea to the Promised Land; a journey from darkness to light.

Gow Langsford Gallery, Lorne Street

  • 26 Lorne Street
  • Auckland 1010