Surrealist Impulse Te Tākiri o te Ringatoi Pohewa

Surrealist Impulse explores a local and Māori relationship with surrealism through works by two leading artists – Michael Parekowhai and Shane Cotton.

  • When | Āhea 6 Jul – 31 Dec 2021
  • Where | Ki hea Level 5
  • Cost | Te utu Free entry

Like the artworks of the surrealists, Cotton’s painting playfully bring together abstract, real, imagined, and absurd imagery. They also refer to the impact of modernism, which redefined and reset the boundaries of Māori art in the mid-20th century.

Parekowhai works with surrealist ideas. Although his art is often aligned with that of Marcel Duchamp, it also relates to the work of René Magritte, a surrealist who challenged viewers to guess the meanings of his paintings. Like Magritte’s painting, Parekowhai’s sculptures are puzzles he leaves you to work out.

Exhibition highlights Taonga whakaatu

  • 1996-0024-1; Folie a deux; 1994; Parekowhai, Michael ; view 1
    Folie a deux Object

    Folie a deux

    Michael Parekowhai 1994 1996-0024-1
  • 2012-0024-2; Third Eye; 2012; Maori; Cotton, Shane ; white background
    Third Eye Object

    Third Eye

    Shane Cotton 2012 2012-0024-2
  • 2012-0024-1; Reach; 2012; Maori; Cotton, Shane ; white background
    Reach Object


    Shane Cotton 2012 2012-0024-1
  • Ascension Object


    Michael Parekowhai 2020 2021-0003-1/1-4 to 4-4

Get our newsletter

Stay in the loop about our wide range of events and exhibitions.

Follow us

Follow our social media channels for a glimpse behind the scenes at Te Papa.

Join Friends of Te Papa

Friends enjoy benefits and discounts including invitations to previews and private viewings.


Find out how you can support Te Papa through a donation or bequest by becoming a patron.