The Titirangi years are rightly regarded as the watershed of his career. McCahon, who was in his mid-thirties when he moved to Auckland, had previously painted in various parts of the South Island, with an emphasis on landscape and biblical narrative paintings; the very different social and physical environment he encountered in Auckland led to big changes in his practice. At first he focussed on rendering the new landscape of hill, bush and bay he discovered in Titirangi, but later, especially after a career-changing trip to the United States in 1958, his work changed radically again, towards abstract imagery, religious themes, innovative use of text and number, and dramatic changes in scale and medium. All these developments will be reflected in the exhibition.
Curated by Peter Simpson, Head of English at The University of Auckland.