Lecture: Over and Over Again—The Legacy of Gordon Walters


Lecture by Christina Barton (Director Adam Art Gallery, Wellington NZ)

This lecture has offered four linked readings of the work of Gordon Walters (1919-1995), who is widely regarded as New Zealand’s greatest abstract painter of the modern era. Departing from his early work, The Poet (1947), it has tracked the progress of Walters’ painting and its reception—specifically in relation to his synthesis of contemporary European and American with pre-modern Maori and Pacific sources—within the context of New Zealand’s emergence as a modern, then bicultural nation. Whilst canvassing the changing ways in which Walters’ work has been understood, this lecture also offered new insights into its legacy for an understanding of the role of painting as both an historical project and as an embodied practice that mediates a relation between the individual and his world.

Christina Barton is a writer and curator with a specialist interest in New Zealand art after 1960. She is currently Director of the Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of Wellington, in Wellington, New Zealand.

The lecture will be held in English