Te Papa’s Rita Angus exhibition in London postponed to 2021

Te Papa and the Royal Academy in London have agreed to postpone a planned Rita Angus exhibition in London until 2021, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Around 70 works by one of New Zealand’s most important 20th century artists, Rita Angus, were set to be exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in October 2020. The exhibition is being postponed until 2021, with the date yet to be confirmed.

The exhibition was also due to be shown in Te Papa’s Toi Art in autumn 2021. The museum said today it does expect the exhibition will be shown at Te Papa, but the date for this is not yet confirmed.

Head of Art Charlotte Davy said the postponement is disappointing for the teams in both countries, but was a practical measure in extraordinary times.

“Obviously we can only stage this exhibition at a time when it is safe for staff to travel, and visitors to attend,” said Ms Davy.

“We know the Royal Academy remain as excited about the exhibition as we are, and there has been a real sense of unity as we work together to re-shape our plans.”

Developed in partnership by Te Papa, which houses the largest collection of Angus’ work in the world, and the Royal Academy, this will be the first solo show of a New Zealand artist at the Royal Academy.

Iconic works from across Angus’ career such as Rutu, 1951, Cleopatra, 1938, Central Otago, 1953–56/1969, and Cass, 1936, will be on display in the exhibition.

Ms Davy said the exhibition highlights Angus’ huge contemporary relevance.

“The exhibition will draw out the themes of pacifism, feminism and nature that shaped so much of Angus’ work,” she said.


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