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Oil on paper on board
380 x 475mm

In September 1942 McCahon married Anne Hamblett, a fellow art student in Dunedin. Shortly after they moved north to Pangatotara in the Motueka district. During the summer they were joined by their close friend the painter Doris Lusk. They painted landscapes and discussed the merits of Cezanne and the architectural structure of the land as he had represented it. In the Pangatotara works McCahon is at his closest to the great French painter. McCahon sometimes obeyed Cezanne’s famous dictum to “Treat nature in terms of the cylinder, the sphere and the cube” more literally than Cezanne did himself and rather more in the manner of the Cubists who also drew their inspiration from the remark.

At the time, Woollaston laid greater stress on colour as a means of constructing an appearance of reality than did McCahon whose interest lay more in the feeling qualities of the painted landscape achieved through spatial analytic treatment. Tonal gradations rather than specific colour changes suggest tangible shape and spacial relationship with other forms.


This work is identified as cm000935 on the Colin McCahon Online Catalogue, where it is titled Pangatotara landscape no. 1.

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