New Zealand Sculpture: A History
The statue of John Robert Godley in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, the lively bronze bust of Frank Sargeson by Alison Duff in the Auckland Central City Library and the bridge sculpture by Para Matchitt on the Wellington waterfront are familiar and accomplished works of art. But for all the many studies of New Zealand painting, sculpture has remained the poor relation given little attention by art critics or scholars. Here respected art historian Michael Dunn attempts to redress the balance, presenting a concise history of New Zealand sculpture since colonial times. Traditional Maori carving is outside his scope but otherwise the book is wide ranging. Professor Dunn charts the development of sculpture in New Zealand from an era of British imports through a period of British influence to an awakening in the 1940s of a sense of the local environment and its distinctive character and materials. He shows a growing confidence and diversity emerging in the second half of the last century as the commissioning of sculpture increased and as contemporary Maori artists in particular attracted attention at home and abroad. Extensively illustrated with 89 colour plates and 80 black and white photographs and including a bibliography and reading lists for each major artist, this book reveals for the first time a strong and dynamic art form.
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