Let us possess one world: McCahon, abstraction and transversal art history

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Since McCahon’s death in 1987, the art world has become more diverse, and so too has his circle of admirers. One reason for his work’s appeal to a diverse audience, I argue, is his impure approach to abstraction. This at once makes his paintings more accessible than they would be were they purely abstract, and allows viewers to find their own meanings in his art. To show how this is so, I consider the responses to McCahon’s work of five New Zealand abstract painters: Gretchen Albrecht, Stephen Bambury, Brent Harris, Ralph Hotere and Imogen Taylor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-147
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of New Zealand Studies
Issue numberNS31
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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