With the move away from purely abstract painting a prominent feature of the international scene, some might feel tempted to welcome the dawning of a new age of humanism in art. Artists have rediscovered the eloquence of the object: and the many rich associations that the images of such objects bring with them. In the last issue of Art New Zealand the poet Alistair Paterson looked at the 'found' objects of sculptors Christine Hellyar, Greer Twiss and Terry Stringer; and in this issue Francis Pound examines the 'new image' art of painters such as Dick Frizzell, Paul Hartigan, Denys Watkins and Gavin Chilcott.
These painters, and one or two like them, have, each in his own individual manner, formulated witty styles that bring into play diverse associative objects of our culture and life styles. The wit of Frizzell is seen particularly in his Christmas 1981, painted especially for the present cover of Art New Zealand.
Two other pieces in this issue look back to the 'forties, and are centred on the artist John Weeks - a surprisingly neglected figure. On page 34, Melvin Day looks at The Rotorua Connection: the artistic friendship between Weeks and Dr W. S. Wallis; while on page 39, E.H. McCormick offers his own personal note on Frances Hunt, Week's friend and pupil, who died recently in Auckland.
On page 50, Andrew Bogle concludes his survey of aleatoric art - the 'indeterminacy aesthetic' in the visual arts. And on page 42, Ann Kirker contributes an interview with Mary Chamot, who was one of the main influences on the formation of the Wellington National Art Gallery's collection of British Art. (The National Gallery has just recently opened its exhibition The First Fifty Years: British Art of the 20th Century.)
Other subjects in this issue are: experiments with paua jewellery that you are not likely to find in your down-town tourists supplies shop; a recent work by Billy Apple, installed at RKS Art; and an interview with actress Darien Takle, who has written a one-woman dramatic piece based on the life and work of the painter Frances Hodgkins.