In this issue we print articles on some contemporary New Zealand artists: Richard Killeen, Ross Ritchie, Paul Cullen, Denis O'Connor, Peter Hawkesby, Philip Trusttum, Anne Noble and Billy Apple.
Although this country is fortunate in having a great many gifted people working in the visual arts, there is a sad lack of communication in the media about their growing achievements. There is a particular gap in the record as regards the advances made in the 'seventies - in painting, in sculpture, in ceramics. Apart from the valuable contribution represented by exhibitions mounted in the dealer galleries, and what Art New Zealand has been able to do, there has been surprisingly little recognition of the fact that much that was exciting and significant has emerged or consolidated itself in the last decade.
It was good to hear recently, therefore, that the Auckland City Art Gallery is working on a curatorial exhibition covering aspects of the last ten years of New Zealand painting. In a substantial catalogue, a number of artists will be discussed by a small group of writers under the following working titles: The Anxious Image; The Grid; The Idea; The New Image. This will be one of the most important exhibitions in the Gallery's programme for next year. There is a way in which certain old photographs have the power to call up, in an almost magical fashion, the aesthetic of the past-and this quite apart from any merely sentimental nostalgia. Looking at some early photographic records of Victoria Arcade, for instance, will recall an architectural landmark familiar to Aucklanders over many decades. What may not be so well-known concerning the inner city is the close association of several buildings with artists of the period. To the disgust of many, Victoria Arcade was pulled down in 1978; and there is now a need to make a thorough survey of what should be a rich mine for any art historian.
As a faint beginning, in this number we publish a sketch of a few leading painters of those times associated with the Arcade.