Story: Painting

Ralph Hotere, 'Black window – towards Aramoana'

Ralph Hotere, 'Black window – towards Aramoana'

Ralph Hotere painted this work on hardboard placed in a found window frame in 1981, at a time when the community, and Hotere in particular, were concerned about the proposal for an aluminium smelter at Aramoana, just up Otago Harbour from where Hotere lived. The window is black, a frequently used colour in Hotere's work, and in the top left pane can be seen suggestions of letters and words. The simple white cross speaks of spiritual associations. The work reflects characteristic aspects of Hotere's painting: his art has a fine sense of abstract design, but it also has wider social concerns. In the use of black and white, Hotere pays tribute both to his Māori heritage and also to the paintings of Colin McCahon.

Using this item

Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tāmaki, Chartwell Collection
Reference: C1994/1/78
Oil on board by Ralph Hotere

Permission of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Courtesy of the Hotere Foundation Trust

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Painting - Abstraction', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 October 2021)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014