Power and luxury on show in Te Papa’s new art season

16 September 2016

The latest season of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa offers eight brand new exhibitions, from the gilded luxury of Europe, to the black paintings of Ralph Hotere, from fearless feminist photography, to a spectacular take on global surveillance.

Visitor looks at painting of Mrs Humphrey Devereux, in European Splendour exhibition. Mike O'Neill © Te Papa

European Splendour offers a glimpse of the grandeur of European life from 1500 to 1800. Richly decorative objects on show include paintings, furniture and clothing – even a rifle ornately inlaid with ivory.

European Splendour illustrates the height of affluence during this period,” says Te Papa’s Senior Art Curator Sarah Farrar.

“At the start of this period, luxury goods were the preserve of the monarchy, the church, and nobility. Waves of change gave more people access to the beauty and sophistication of gold, fine furniture, silks, and lace.”

Māori minimalism and international influence showcases a selection of works by pioneering Māori artist Ralph Hotere, seen here for the first time alongside works of influential American artist Ad Reinhardt. Both artists were renowned for their pared-back black paintings.

“Bringing these two artists together throws New Zealand art into a global conversation”, says Ms Farrar

Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa is a changing programme of exhibitions. Season 6, which runs until February 2017 features eight brand new exhibitions and five refreshed galleries.

“Season 6 of Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa exhibits the incredible richness of the national art collection in a thought-provoking and powerful series of exhibitions,” says Te Papa Chief Executive Rick Ellis.

Secret Power is the New Zealand premiere of four works from contemporary New Zealand artist, Simon Denny’s acclaimed 2015 Venice Biennale exhibition. This spectacular work addresses contemporary issues of mass surveillance, national identity and international security.

Ngā Toi | Arts Te Papa is free to visit.

The new season is open now until February.

Visitors look at gowns in European Splendour exhibitions. Mike O'Neill © Te Papa.

Media contacts

Ellie Campbell, Senior Communications Advisor
029 601 0010

Kate Camp, Communications Manager
029 601 0180

Overview of the exhibitions at Ngā Toi I Arts Te Papa

Te Papa will celebrate the new season with an exciting range of curator and artist floor talks and family art activities in the Level 5 galleries on 17 September 2016. tepapa.govt.nz/events

New exhibitions

European Splendour 1500–1800
Exquisite European art and objects reveal how the Church, trade, and innovation influenced what was once considered the height of affluence.

Filmic imaginaries: Jacqueline Fraser and Tracey Moffatt
Filmic Imaginaries focuses on Jacqueline Fraser and Tracey Moffatt's use of popular culture, particularly that of cinematic film, to universalise their practices and move their work into the creative imaginary.

Māori minimalism and international influence
The works of pioneering Māori artist Ralph Hotere, American minimalist artist Ad Reinhardt, and Māori minimalist sculptor Matt Pine are brought together in a surprising conversation.

Simon Denny: Secret Power
Simon Denny’s acclaimed Venice Biennale exhibition Secret Power explores surveillance, espionage, and New Zealand’s role in the Five Eyes international intelligence alliance.

Alexis Hunter: The model’s revenge
Gender, sexuality, and power – the 1970s photographs of this feminist artist have been described as ‘icons of fearlessness for women’.

Whakarakei: Adorned
Adorned brings together paintings, prints, and cultural treasures to explore the art of adornment in Māori and Pacific cultures.

The Anzac print portfolio
Five New Zealand and five Australian artists respond to the history, legacy, and recent centenary of World War I.

Matt Pine: Placement Projects revisited
Sculptor Matt Pine combines Māori and Pacific perspectives with American minimalism in a new version of his Placement Projects – site-responsive installations he first created for Auckland Art Gallery in 1978.

Refreshed exhibitions

Inspired: Ceramics and jewellery shaped by the past
This exhibition invites you to travel through time discovering connections – from ancient Egypt to present-day Aotearoa New Zealand.

Framing the View
New Zealand’s spectacular scenery captivated European artists and photographers who came here in the 1800s. With no works by Old Masters to copy, nature was their training ground.

Open Home: Contemporary New Zealand artists explore home life
Works by Derrick Cherrie, L Budd, Graham Fletcher, and others explore what happens when home life goes on display.

The Gallery of Helen Hitchings
Helen Hitchings’ vibrant dealer gallery was ground-breaking in its presentation of modern art and design in New Zealand.

New Visions, New Zealand
Female artists enlivened modern art in New Zealand. Double portraits by Rita Angus, Frances Hodgkins, and A Lois White face off, and a little-known mural by White gets some wall time.