Whangārei Art Museum
18 Jun 2020
The Whangārei Art Museum Te Manawa Toi is the public art gallery of the Whangārei District, and custodians of its art collection and public art works in the city.
The exhibition focuses on the dark, intense paintings of New Zealand painter Tony Fomison (1939-1990), which he produced during the early years of his career, from 1967 to 1975.
From a period of darkness in his own life, emerged these emotive and almost brutal paintings. His images of monsters, misfits, and medical deformities challenged polite society, and explored what it means to be an outsider. The humanity of these grotesque works resonated profoundly with many – making him one of the most important New Zealand artists of his generation.
The exhibition includes well-known and less familiar works painted by Fomison, as well as never-before-seen video footage of the artist at work, and spaces for people to respond in conversation with the teens working on the show.
Tony Fomison: Lost in the Dark was first developed as a collaboration between Wellington High School students and Te Papa.
Developed and toured by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Image: Detail of Malaria Victim, New Guinea, 1970, Christchurch, by Tony Fomison. Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (1998-0019-1)