PHILIPS, Margot;

Landscape with Blue-Green Bach

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Oil on board
450 x 610mm

Margot Philips was born on 5 April 1902 in Duisburg, north of Düsseldorf, into a German Jewish family. She and her four siblings escaped Germany prior to the Second World War. She sought refuge in Aotearoa, arriving in 1938 and settling in Kirikiriroa Hamilton, where she worked for her brother Kurt at the Vienna Café, the city’s first restaurant.

Philips started painting late in life and was largely self-taught. In the 1950s, she attended summer schools with Colin McCahon, who encouraged her to ‘experiment and remain true to her vision’. Landscape with Blue-Green Bach was formerly in the collection of McCahon and his wife, Anne Hamblett. It was purportedly a gift from the artist.

The work likely depicts, or responds to, the Waikato. Philips once commented: ‘I knew after I had settled here something inside of me was destroyed. I needed something within me to build up again. … I was terribly excited by the Waikato landscape, once I was really ready to look.’

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Margot L. Philips. [l.r.] MARGOT L PHILIPS / NOT DATED / Collection / Anne & Colin / McCahon [verso]

Exhibition History

Contemporary New Zealand Painting and Sculpture, Auckland City Art Gallery (later Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki), November 1962, cat. no. 68


Fletcher Trust Collection, purchased from Webb’s, Tāmaki Makaurau, 30 April 1992, Lot 106

Collection of Colin McCahon, Tāmaki Makaurau