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Tony Fomison: Lost in the Dark Tony Fomison: E ngaro ana i te pōuri

An exhibition of Tony Fomison’s paintings, featuring monsters, misfits, and medical deformities that explores what it means to be an outsider.

People look at a painting by Tony Fomison. The painting depicts a man holding his hand up to the camera as if to say No

Caption

Opening night of Tony Fomison: Lost in the Dark at Te Papa, 2018. Te Papa (114445)

Artworks:

Tony Fomison, No!, 1971, oil on canvas. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū (73/243)

Tony Fomison, Study of hands on page 235 of “Roxburgh’s Common Skin Diseases” 12th edition 1961, 1971, oil on hessian. Purchased 1996 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (1997-0007-1)

In the late 1960s, dark things began to emerge from Tony Fomison’s paintings. His monsters, misfits, and medical deformities challenged polite society, and explored what it means to be an outsider.

This was a particularly troubled period in Fomison’s life. He had just returned to Christchurch from travels in Europe and was broke, grappling with drug addiction, and cynical about society.

Yet the humanity of his grotesque paintings resonated profoundly with many – making him one of the most important New Zealand painters of his generation.

Tony Fomison: Lost in the Dark is a collaboration between Wellington High School students and Te Papa. 

Students workshopped the theme of ‘otherness’ in Fomison’s work, which helped shape our creative approach.

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I ngā tau tōmuri o ngā ono tekau, i hua ake ētahi āhuatanga hākerekere i ngā kōwaiwai a Tony Fomison. I wero āna taniwha, āna weriweri me āna tauira hape i te āhua o te hapori, ā, i whakaahua hoki i te ao o te rāwaho.

He wāhanga taumaha tēnei o tana oranga. Kātahi anō ia ka hoki mai ki Ōtautahi i āna haerenga i Ūropi me te aha i pōhara ia, i raru ia i te wara whakapōauau, ā, i anipā ia ki te āhua o te hapori.

Ahakoa tērā, tokomaha ngā tāngata i whai hononga kaha ki āna kōwaiwai rerekē – nā konā i mōhiotia ai ia hei kaitā rongonui o tōna reanga nō Aotearoa.

Tony Fomison: He kaupapa a E ngaro ana i te Pōuri i mahi tahi ai i waenganui i ngā ākonga o Te Kura Tuarua o Taraika ki Pukeahu me Te Papa.

I āta matapakia ngā ākonga i te kaupapa o te ‘rerekētanga’ i ngā mahi a Fomison, nā konā ka hua mai ngā tikanga wairua auaha.

Tour schedule

Eastern Southland Gallery, Gore 5 Mar – 30 May 2021
Tauranga Art Gallery Toi Tauranga, Tauranga 21 Nov 2020 – 21 Feb 2021
Whangārei Art Museum Te Manawa Toi, Whangārei 18 May – 16 Aug 2020

Hosting enquiries

Mark Kent, Touring Exhibition Manager
Phone: +64 (0)4 381 7259
Email: markk@tepapa.govt.nz