An exhibition developed and toured by Exhibitour New Zealand with the assistance of the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council of New Zealand, Brooker’s and the owners of the works.
An exhibition which surveys works produced over the last twenty years by Wellington artist Gordon Crook opens at the Fisher Gallery, Pakuranga from Friday 26 August. Since he arrived in New Zealand in 1972, Crook has produced a large volume of work in a wide range of media. He is most noted for his printmaking, tapestry and collage. He also works in paper casts, drawing, photomontage, and painting. He has made books and worked in theatre design.
Gordon Crook is an artist whose contribution to the visual language of this country is considerable. Achieving international recognition for his textile designs, he is well known for his banner designs in the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington and New Zealand Chancery Building, Washington.
Born in Richmond, England in 1921, Gordon Crook was educated at the Oliver Whitby School, Chichester. After demobilisation from the RAF in 1945 he studied at St. Martin’s School of Art, London. This was followed by a course in textiles at London’s Central School of Art, and practice as a freelance textile designer.
From 1948-1971 he lectured in design at the Central School of Art before moving to New Zealand. Kate Derum, the exhibition curator, sums up his approach: ‘Gordon Crook has shown rare virtuosity in each of the media he has tackled, his work transcends traditional boundaries of art, craft and design. An innovative artist, he has introduced paper casting, collaborative tapestry weaving and a professional approach to commissions that is rare in New Zealand. In recent work he uses the ambiguity of photomontage to explore new themes demonstrating his extraordinary ability to marry materials and ideas.’
James Mack, former director of the Dowse Art Museum and Crook enthusiast, comments, ‘His body of work reveals a rich vein of continuity of themes and images as well as continual fresh development over twenty years of output ... his works are superbly architected, sublimely orchestrated. He is a colour master who knows all the rules but breaks them for our pleasure.’
The touring exhibition of 58 works will show the the breadth and depth of his contribution to New Zealand art making practice. It is complemented by a video on Gordon Crook.
→ Gordon Crook: Images, Symbols, Dreams, 1994, exhibition card
→ Gordon Crook: Images, Symbols, Dreams, 1994, poster