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William Alexander Sutton studied at the Canterbury College School of Art, graduating in 1937. He was part of The Group, alongside such artists as Rita Angus, Leo Bensemann, Doris Lusk, Colin McCahon, Olivia Spencer-Bower, and Toss Woollaston. Following his service during the Second World War, he studied at the Anglo-French Art Centre in London. He then travelled and saw the work of the European masters while documenting his journey in paintings.

On his return to Aotearoa, Sutton he began to paint the Canterbury landscape, using both representational and abstract methods. He taught at the University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts for 40 years, influencing many. He was made a Companion of the British Empire in 1980 for his services to art.

Aotearoa New Zealand;
Date of birth
01 March 1917
Place of birth
Sydenham, Ōtautahi, Aotearoa,
Date of death
23 January 2000
Place of death
Ōtautahi, Aotearoa,


Bridge of Remembrance, Christchurch

1938, 360 x 520mm, Watercolour on paper