MAYO, Eileen;


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Oil on board
600 x 960mm

The date of this work is uncertain. Eileen Mayo portrayed sunflowers over many years. In an article on the 1976 Benson and Hedges Art Award, judge Daniel Thomas noted:

‘Before McCahon the New Zealand painter I found most interesting was Rita Angus, and maybe Eileen Mayo’s Life Dance of Sunflowers owed something to Angus’s frontal, dead-centre realism. But it also suggested German Romanticism: I can’t put my hands on any illustrations of [Philipp Otto] Runge’s work of about 1830, but I think these classically-fluted columnar stalks and perfect roundels acknowledge the perfection of God’s handiwork in Nature, and have parallels in the art of Biedermeier Europe, where Caspar David Friedrich saw cathedral aisles in groves of trees.’[1]


[1] Daniel Thomas, ‘New Zealand Painting and the Benson and Hedges Award’, Art New Zealand 1 (August/September 1976).

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Fletcher Trust Collection, purchased from (or through) John Leech Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau