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Christchurch City Council Media Release 15 June, 1998

12 Leading New Zealand Artists Explore Realism In A National Tour Of Recent Work At The Robert McDougall Art Gallery

(Re)visioning the Real. 20 June - 23 August 1998

Following the outstanding success of the 1995 touring exhibition, Persuasions of the Real, Lopdell House Gallery in Titirangi has been asked to put together another show which further explores the genre of realism. With the addition of three more participants this time (Re)Visioning the Real features 12 leading New Zealand artists who, most having just completed their work for the show this year, provide a snapshot of figurative art in New Zealand at the end of the 90s.

The show, which includes work by landscape painters, figure painters and sculptors, features the work of Joanna Bratihwaite, Paul Dibble, Karl Maughan, Mary McIntyre, Stanley Palmer, Glenda Randerson, Michael Shepherd, Peter Siddell, Sylvia Siddell, Michael Smither, Terry Stringer and Greer Twiss.

While Abstraction has been more popular in the last three decades, Realism is now reasserting itself and re-emerging. Lopdell House Gallery Director and Curator of the exhibition, Brett Levine, says that while there is a common theme underpinning the exhibition, the artists involved each explore their own reading of realism mediated through their own experiences in the late twentieth century.

Realism is a term used broadly for anyone who paints or sculpts representationally.

Levine points out that Realist painting and sculpture have, in fact, been outside the mainstream of avante-garde practice for over a century. This exhibition aims to explore what the term ‘realism’ actually means and asks the question "What is the Real?"

The Robert McDougall Art Gallery, located in the Botanic Gardens, is the country’s most visited public art gallery featuring regularly changing exhibitions of international and New Zealand historical and contemporary art. The McDougall Contemporary Art Annex, located in the Christchuch Arts Centre, features international, national and local contemporary exhibitions. Both galleries are open daily except Christmas Day and Good Friday. Hours are 10 am. to 4.30 pm. Free admission and guided tours are available daily on request .

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