Colin McCahon came to Auckland in May 1953, arriving from his home at Christchurch. After some months he was able to gain employment here at Auckland City’s Art Gallery and soon settled with his family in French Bay. For the next seven years Titirangi, and the Manukau Harbour area, was a primary stimulant for McCahon's painting.
This exhibit samples two relatively unfamiliar aspects of Colin McCahon's Titirangi years; his landscapes and portraits. His 1950s responses to the kauri are arguably some of the most expressive paintings of that iconic tree. The French Bay seascapes and Titirangi hillscapes reveal an artist who is continually experimenting with the ways in which his style and approach may respond to the totality of nature. The four portraits in this exhibit indicate that while McCahon portraits are still not extensively known, they are among his most engaging images from the 1950s.
This exhibition centres around the recently gifted Titirangi to the Auckland Art Gallery Collection and gathers together many unseen paintings from a relatively unknown period in Colin McCahon's oeuvre.
Curated by Ron Brownson