Friday 1 February 2013

Tony Fomison - Archivist and Artist

My colleagues Natasha Conland and Caroline McBride have curated a solo artist exhibition which samples some of the Tony Fomison works of art in this public collection. We are fortunate in having assembled the most extensive holdings of Tony's art, which now includes the remarkable studio papers that Mrs Mary Fomison generously gifted to the Gallery.

As well, Tony Fomison: Archivist and Artist (part of Toi Aotearoa) contains two of the paintings that the Chartwell Collection gifted to the collection. This display shows just some of the brilliant archival resources that the artist's mother ensured would be made accessible to the public. Included is one of the previously unknown gouache portraits found among Tony's studio papers.

For anyone that has not seen a number of Tony Fomison paintings and drawings gathered together, or his archival material, this exhibit is an opportunity to see why Tony is such a significant 20th century New Zealand artist.

I once told some of the All Blacks that this artist would always have an ongoing reputation and public regard simply because of his unique vision. I still reckon that this is a true statement.

Tony Fomison
Beethoven 1981
oil on canvas
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Chartwell Gift Collection, 2009

Tony Fomison
The Bushman 23 January 1967
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, from the Tony Fomison Studio Papers,
gift of Mary Fomison, 2009

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