French Bay

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August to September 1956
Enamel on board
549 x 756mm

cm000605 on the Colin McCahon Online Catalogue.

In this work, a nocturnal painting employing a drastically reduced colour palette, Colin McCahon conveys the idea of reflections on water using narrow horizontal bands. Otitori French Bay was a short distance from the artist’s home and he made it the subject of a number of paintings. Important examples are in the Chartwell Collection at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

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French Bay, August – Sept '56. McCahon [l.l.]

Exhibition History

Freedom and Structure: Cubism and New Zealand Art 1930–1960, curated by Julia Waite, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Tāmaki Makaurau, 16 May 2015 to 10 April 2016 (toured)

Representation and Reaction: Modernism and the New Zealand Landscape Tradition 1956–1977, Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua, Whanganui, 31 August to 27 October 2002 (toured)


Fletcher Trust Collection, purchased March 1998


The Fletcher Trust Collection is one of the largest curated private collections of Aotearoa art. The Trust makes works available online as well as via exhibitions initiated by public art institutions and by the Trust itself.

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Auckland 1142
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