Landscape Aotearoa

On now – 25  November

In this exhibition Solander Gallery brings together two giants of New Zealand landscape, E. Mervyn Taylor (1906-1964) and Stanley Palmer. Both artists have built their artistic reputation on their impassioned and persistent exploration of the New Zealand landscape through painting and printmaking.

Taylor is renowned for his depiction of a uniquely New Zealand landscape and his association with the ‘regionalist movement’ of art in New Zealand during the 1940’s and 50’s through his impeccable wood engravings and watercolours.

Taylor’s wood engravings in particular, demonstrate his highly developed sense of design that pushes his works beyond the merely representational. His imaginative use of pattern and inventive mark making cut into the end grain woodblock interpret the details of the landscape’s form, texture and light in an abstract way. His wood engraving work is almost a work of deception, fooling the eye to believe in a scene that does not really exist.

Palmer’s career is dominated by a relentless commitment to the New Zealand landscape since the late 1950’s.  Both the natural and urban environment have been inspirational in his career as painter and printmaker along with an enduring interest in literature.

Palmer’s landscapes are simultaneously inspired by the natural world but executed in a manipulated and abstracted way as elements of form and colour are shifted, exaggerated or omitted to achieve a satisfying compositional whole.  These are not intended to be photograph like ‘copies of a place’ but an emotional and subconscious ‘response to a place’. Stanley himself in a recent interview with Graeme Douglas (Good Oil Episode 10) compares his use of the elements of a landscape to a composer’s use of musical language in a composition.

Stanley Palmer

E. Mervyn Taylor