|m(M)ark acrylic on wood, 417 x 875 x 790 mm, 2001|
|Unveiling the Evangelists - New work by Gordon Crook
4 - 28 April 2001
The huge, vibrant wall hangings and banners in the Michael Fowler Centre are some of the best known public artworks in Wellington. They were made by Wellington artist Gordon Crook, who has been producing such dramatic, often boldly coloured images in a wide range of media for over 50 years.
His work can be found in New Zealand diplomatic posts in Washington, Tonga, Samoa and Mexico, and in most of our major public and private art collections. Gordon is still as active, innovative and technically precise as ever, and his latest solo exhibition opened at Idiom Studio on 4 April.
"Unveiling the Evangelists" is a series of collaged wooden shapes and prints and several small tapestries which together explore the pre-Christian symbolism of the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Their strong, simple forms were made with the technical help of Gordons long-time co-workers, Wellington woodworker Ron Barber and Blenheim weaver Lesley Nichols.
Gordons fascination with early Egyptian imagery dates from his student days at Londons St Martins School of Art, just a short walk from the British Museum with its famed Egyptian collection. "What interests me," he says, "is the way Christianity has usurped the other religions. No-one tells us why St Luke is represented by an ox, or John by an eagle.
"My work has now reached almost the ultimate simplicity of very basic forms like the pyramid, triangle and house. But Ive sometimes altered the classical symbology for aesthetic reasons. Im making discoveries all the way through with this show. Its my own Grail quest."b Kerr