Abstract art is often presented as a 20th-century European invention, but Kaleidoscope turns that on its head and celebrates how the exploration of shape, colour, and pattern have captured our imaginations in the Pacific.
With toi whakairo (carving) by Anaha Te Rahui and an enormous Fijian masi (tapa cloth), alongside works by contemporary artists like Reuben Paterson and Richard Killeen, the exhibition offers four ways to think about and experience abstract art in New Zealand.
Sarah Farrar, Senior Art Curator at Te Papa says the exhibition focuses on leading New Zealand and Pacific artists and the ways they navigate and use abstraction for their own means in their work.
“We’re exploring what abstract art means here and now,” she says. “We live in a world of images – with the rise of Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube – images are part of how we make sense of the world.”
“Abstract art helps us learn to decode, understand and analyse these images. These are artworks that reward the act of simply looking and thinking, which is what art is about at its essence.”
TIFFANY SINGH will unveil a major new commissioned installation work for Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand in mid-February as part of "Kaleidoscope: Abstract Aotearoa".
“It’s an exciting opportunity to make a work of this nature at this scale. It will be an immersive sensory experience, where people can interact with and inform the artwork. It will become reflective of our wellbeing at a particular moment in time.”
“Expect colour, lots of colour!” she says. “But not in the way you might be used to experiencing colour in my work.”
The exhibition will open in March 2018.