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10 MARCH 2013

Ralph Hotere, New Zealand Artist, Dies at 81

Ralph Hotere 1931–2013 "was one of New Zealand's leading abstract artists, well known for his enigmatic, black painted surfaces stripped with luminous lines of color. He was not a strict formalist or wary of content. When an aluminium smelter was proposed for the Aramoana wetland, he famously nailed protest works on local telephone poles, painted on corrugated iron. And although his message was never explicit, his black paintings emerged at the height of the Civil Rights movement and suggested themes of historical crisis: war, nuclear testing, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Apartheid. With an understated gravitas unusual in protest art, Hotere demanded that his work speak for itself.

Although Hotere did not want to be pigeonholed as a 'Māori artist,' his works were steeped in the spiritual world of his ancestors. He was one of the first generation of Māori artists in New Zealand who, with quiet perseverance, forged a path for subsequent generations of artists by establishing a distinctive visual vocabulary that would be influential to both Māori and Pakeha (European) artists alike."

(Andrew Clifford, 1 March 2013, ArtAsiaPacific Magazine)

Fig.1 Ralph Hotere with his Black Phoenix installation at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in 2000. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.

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201320th century artabstract artists • aluminium smelter • Aotearoa New ZealandAramoanaartist • Black Phoenix (artwork) • Careys Bay • deceased • distinctive visual vocabulary • Dunedin • Dunedin Public Art Gallery • funeral • humble origins • Maori • Mitimiti • New Zealand artist • New Zealand cultural identity • Order of New Zealand • paintingsPakehaPort Chalmersprotestprotest artprotest worksRalph Hotere • significant figure • South Island • tangi • the spiritual world of ancestors • the work speaks for itself • visual artist

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 JULY 2012

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Memory Board (Lukasa)

"Lukasa, or memory boards, are hand–held wooden objects that present a conceptual map of fundamental aspects of Luba culture. They are at once illustrations of the Luba political system, historical chronicles of the Luba state, and territorial diagrams of local chiefdoms. Each board's design is unique and represents the divine revelations of a spirit medium expressed in sculptural form. While many lukasa utilize a system of denotation based on masses of shells and beads affixed to their wooden surfaces, this example communicates its content through incised designs and images carved in relief."

(The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Fig.1 "Memory Board (Lukasa) [Democratic Republic of Congo; Luba] (1977.467.3)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works–of–art/1977.467.3 (October 2006).

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19th century • ancestress • ancestry • arcane knowledge • art historybeads • carapace • carved relief • carvingchart • chevron • chief • chiefdom • circular elements • collectionconceptual mapconceptual metaphorcrocodilecultural formsculture • decipher and interpret • Democratic Republic of Congo • denote • diagram • divine revelations • facehand-heldHeilbrunn Timeline of Art Historyhistorical chronicleshistorical figuresillustrationinformation aestheticsinterdependenceinterpretation • kaloba • kikungulu • king • kitenta • Lolo Ina Nombe • Luba • lukasa • mbudye • memory • memory aid • memory board • Metropolitan Museum of Artmnemonicmotifmythologynotation • ovoid • physical geography • political organisation • political system • religious geography • representationsculptural formsculpturesymbolism • system of denotation • the spiritual world of ancestorstimeline • turtle • visual communicationvisualisationwood • wooden object • zoomorphic

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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