Dick Frizzell’s acutely honed eye for the symbolic in New Zealand culture and environment has been clearly evident from the very outset of his art career. His background in commercial art has not simply aided this, it has propelled his work forward, as he developed iconic symbols that came to enter our cultural vernacular. Old Boots (2011) and Haka Lyric (2010) continue this. These works are layered thick with meaning and event, resonate with memory and hope, and so goes to the centre of rugby as a game and its role in our society. All Square in Love and War (2010) explicitly references his Four Square Man whilst also contemporarising it as bi-cultural modern New Zealand.
Humour and philosophical concern permeates The Answer (2010) and Frizzell’s stylistic virtuosity is equally revealed in Times Arrow (2007) and Red Haring VI (2010).
Stanley Palmer, acknowledged as New Zealand’s pre-eminent printmaker, has produced an inter-related suite of outstanding works. Palmer’s exquisite command of a specifically regionalist focus is without peer in this medium. His masterful depiction of place in Karamea (2010) and landscape - Harataonga and Road – Mahurangi (2010) - unites atmosphere and the particular together. In Bell-Marae Pahaoa (2010) and Matauri (2010) he uses the symbolism of architecture as historical devices.
Karl Maughan and Reuben Paterson are very important painters who have recently embraced the screenprinting process as a new medium. Maughan’s Colyton (2010) is both a characteristic and substantial work in its own right. Paterson’s use of glitter has received enormous critical attention and international acclaim. He is now producing wonderful work using glitter dust on paper which presents all his concerns as a painter in images that celebrate the multi-cultural dynamic of our culture.
Nigel Brown has had a career long involvement with works on paper, both as a painter and a printmaker. Recently he has returned to this and produced a group of paintings on paper which are remarkably innovative and penetratingly perceptive. He uses Mitre Peak and its role as a tourist and national icon as both a touch-stone and as a wailing wall for social and political debate, posing important questions about our behaviour.