Melvin Day Art

**Update:** Now cancelled. Painter, raconteur, cultural icon: Melvin Day talk at Johnsonville Library

**Update:** Very sadly due to unexpected circumstances we have had to cancel this event.

We are hoping to be able to reschedule it to a future date. Please keep an eye on our various social media platforms for information on any rescheduled date.

Join us for a very special event. Contemporary Art Curator Mark Hutchins-Pond presents a talk on Melvin Day, the creator of some of the most intellectually astute and visceral paintings in New Zealand art history.

Melvin Day Art

"Piano Accordion 1955 by Melvin Day"
“Piano Accordion 1955 – Melvin Day”

Melvin Day produced some of the most intellectually astute and visceral paintings in New Zealand art history. Day’s life is a colourful and fascinating one, from studying at the Elam School of Art at the age of eleven, to graduating from the Courtauld Institute of Art after serving in World War Two. Considered a radical, a traditionalist, a painter and an art historian; Day had an illustrious career which included being appointed the director of the National Art Gallery of New Zealand.  His works are to be found in many national and international public and private collections including Te Papa Tongarewa, The Dowse Art Museum, the Rotorua Museum of Art & History, the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, the Auckland Art Gallery, and the New Zealand Portrait Gallery. For anyone interested in the evolution of modern art in New Zealand, this talk promises to be unmissable. You can register your interest in attending this event over at our Melvin Day Facebook event.

Melvin Day, artist / O’Brien, Gregory
“There were many Melvin Days, but the term `Artist’ encompasses all of them. During a career spanning seven decades, he produced some of the most intellectually astute, yet often visceral, paintings in New Zealand art history. Born in Hamilton in 1923, Day was a radical-but also a great believer in tradition. In recent years, his early Cubist-inclined paintings have reinstated him-alongside John Weeks, Charles Tole and Louise Henderson–as a key figure in mid-20th century New Zealand art. In London during the 1960s, he was a vital and talented figure in an ex-patriate scene which also included Ralph Hotere, Ted Bullmore, Don Peebles and John Drawbridge. By later that decade he had become the most highly-qualified art historian in New Zealand and had returned home to spend a turbulent, but creatively rich, decade as director of the National Art Gallery. It was a past he never put behind him. From the late 1970s until his death in 2016, his investigations into still life, landscape and art history continued with undiminished fervour. Melvin Day-Artist is one of the great hitherto-untold stories of New Zealand art and its history. With essays by five writers who knew and understood Day-Vincent O’Sullivan, Tony Mackle, Gregory O’Brien, Mark Hutchins-Pond and Julia Waite-this book brings to light a wide-ranging yet intensely focussed life’s work.” (Catalogue)