Colin McCahon: Letters and Numbers is now open at NGV International.
To mark the centenary of McCahon’s birth in 1919, the NGV is presenting a collection of works from New Zealand’s most celebrated artist of the twentieth century.
McCahon was renowned for his innovative and pioneering use of numbers and letters in his paintings, and interrogated concepts of faith and doubt, often exploring Christian and Māori spirituality.
McCahon’s first trip outside New Zealand was to the NGV in 1951 to study paintings from the collection with Australian artist Mary Cockburn-Mercer, a modernist painter and cubist. McCahon was influenced by Rembrandt, El Greco, Cezanne, Pissarro and Turner, and this time proved to be a pivotal moment in his career and changed the course of his work.
His work is represented in collections around the world, including the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Auckland Art Gallery, National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. Major new books about McCahon have been released to celebrate the centenary, including McCahon Country by Justin Paton (Penguin Books) and Colin McCahon: There is Only One Direction by Peter Simpson (Auckland University Press).
Colin McCahon: Letters and Numbers is now open at the National Gallery of Victoria until April 2020.