Black Rainbow: Ralph Hotere & Michael Parekowhai 

Black Painting XV, from 'Malady' a poem by Bill Manhire
Ralph Hotere, Black Painting XV, from 'Malady' a poem by Bill Manhire, 1970, acrylic paint on canvas, Te Papa.

Five black paintings. A red piano. In ‘Black Rainbow’, the works of two leading artists from two generations come together, conversing in colour, sound, and ideas.

In the early 1960s, Ralph Hotere became the first Māori artist to be embraced by New Zealand’s art mainstream. His poetic black paintings are among his best known. In 2011, Michael Parekowhai represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale, with this piano as his central work.

But the obvious success of both artists is only part of what resonates here. Both also aim to actively engage the audience, and each makes the complex seem effortless.

Mā te tuakana ka tōtika te teina; mā te teina ka tōtika te tuakana.
By the older person, the younger learns; by the younger person, the older learns

He Korero Purakau mo Te Awanui o Te Motu: story of a New Zealand river
Michael Parekowhai, He Kōrero Pūrākau mo Te Awanui o Te Motu: story of a New Zealand river, 2011. Purchased 2011, with the assistance of the Friends of Te Papa.


29 March – 22 June 2014Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History
28 June – 28 September 2014Tauranga Art Gallery
18 October – 7 December 2014Whangarei Art Museum
13 December 2014 – 1 March 2015Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Auckland

Please check venue website for confirmed dates.
Visit Arts Te Papa, the online home of art at Te Papa, for more information and images from Black Rainbow.


For more information on Black Rainbow, please contact:

Aaron Te One
Exhibitions Touring Manager
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
(04) 381 7191