The straight and the abstract

Green and Pink, 1967, by Gordon Walters. Gouache on paper. Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Given to the gallery in 2016 by the Gordon Walters Estate.
Green and Pink, 1967, by Gordon Walters. Gouache on paper. Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Given to the gallery in 2016 by the Gordon Walters Estate.
Dunedin has a rich cache of Gordon Walters’ lines and curves, writes Lucy Hammonds.

Gordon Walters (1919-1995) is one of Aotearoa New Zealand's most prominent modernist artists, widely recognised for his hard-edged abstract compositions from the mid 1960s that employed elements of the koru motif.

His career is the subject of a major retrospective exhibition on show at Dunedin Public Art Gallery until April 8 next year.

Green and Pink is one of the most recent acquisitions into the Dunedin Public Art Gallery collection, which includes a number of works by Walters including major paintings and studies. It gives a glimpse into how Walter's koru-based abstractions flattened the space between foreground and background and simplified forms down to variations on a circle and rectilinear bar.

As the custodian of the Gordon Walters Estate collection, which was deposited with the gallery on long-term loan in 2014, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery has a unique connection with the career of this artist.

The collection includes many works that have allowed a deeper insight into how Walters' art practice developed, and the important role that the early decades played in a career that extended over five decades.

-Lucy Hammonds is a curator at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

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