Things to do  |  10 Feb 2023

Showcasing the often overlooked medium of printmaking, a new exhibition at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū shines light on one of the most dynamic periods of Aotearoa’s art history.

Ink on Paper is the first exhibition in New Zealand to cover this progressive period of printmaking, from the 1910s to the 1950s, and includes rarely seen works from household names like Rita Angus, Evelyn Page, Colin McCahon and Bill Sutton, alongside works by lesser-known artists. 

Ink on Paper includes striking work by people you may never have heard of, like Nancy Bolton, Gertrude Ball, Hilda Wiseman, Adele Younghusband and Hinehauone Coralie Cameron. This show brings them to the fore, and gives their prints the attention they’ve always deserved,” says curator Peter Vangioni.

The exhibition features more than 100 etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, wood-engravings and linocuts by New Zealand artists working at home and abroad.

“By the early 20th century, printmaking was undergoing a remarkable revival in the West. As photography replaced traditional lithography and wood-engraving techniques in the commercial print industry, artists were quick to embrace these suddenly obsolete print mediums and incorporate them into their practice,” Mr Vangioni says.

The majority of works in the exhibition are from Christchurch Art Gallery’s collection. “We’ve been acquiring work with this exhibition in mind, strengthening the Gallery’s print collection. The rest are on loan from institutions and private collections throughout New Zealand. In some cases, we’re displaying the original lino block alongside the finished product.”

A major hardcover book accompanies the exhibition, available from the Gallery’s Design Store and bookshops around the country.

See Ink on Paper at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū from 11 February to 28 May 2023.

Image: Adele Younghusband Workers 1947. Linocut. Collection of Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.