I am always interested in lists people make whether they be lists of favourite restaurants, books, places to visit etc and so I was particularly keen to see which pieces of NZ art one of our most popular contemporary artists had chosen. And I can tell you I was surprised, delighted and intrigued by Frizzell's selection. Actually his text accompanying each piece is as interesting and entertaining, and sometimes provocative, as the art itself.
For example here is Landscape Overlooking Kaitawa, Waikaremoana 1948 by Doris Lusk and his text.
Hers are tough, uncompromising paintings, boldly taking in huge chunks of geography and taming them with extraordinary leaps of scale, tone and colour stitched together with dynamic patterning that cleverly uses mass and tertiary detail in constant tension across the surface of the composition. Even her dry scrubby brushwork seems to be the perfect vehicle for describing these raw environments.
With time, and practice, one suspects, she evolved a more sedate technique which never really captured the energy that her early works radiate so confidently. It would’ve been an exhausting act to maintain, I’d imagine.
(image courtesy of the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu (purchased 1955) and Patrick T Holland for the Doris Lusk Estate)
Here are some of his other selections from the book and with permission of the publishers:
From top to bottom:
1.Frances Hodgkins - Berries and Laurel