TheCriticsPart_Cover curnow cover_cropped_sml(2)

ISBN 978-0864-739-322

512 pages

Hardcover, case bound with jacket

The Critic’s Part: Wystan Curnow Art Writings 1971–2013

Wystan Curnow, with essays by Robert Leonard, and Christina Barton

Jointly published with the Adam Art Gallery, in association with Victoria University Press.


Wystan Curnow is New Zealand's longest-serving and, arguably, most important art critic. This edited collection brings together a selection of his art writings from 1971 to 2013, to provide the first comprehensive overview of his work. It includes long-form essays that investigate the stakes for 'high culture in a small province', monographic essays on canonical artists (including Len Lye, Colin McCahon, Billy Apple, Stephen Bambury, Max Gimblett, and Imants Tillers), vivid reports on the contemporary art scene, catalogue essays, and short reviews. Both a map of contemporary theory and practice and a cogent agenda for thinking through the implications and challenges of making art in the antipodes, this compilation is an essential companion for anyone interested in New Zealand art as it has unfolded since 1970. The book includes introductory essays by Robert Leonard on Curnow as an 'antipodean internationalist' and analysis of his approach as a writer by Christina Barton, plus a chronology and bibliography.

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