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Te Papa opens new gallery with Impressionism exhibition

A new art gallery opens at Te Papa next week with Colour & Light: Impressionism from France & America, an exhibition from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Te Papa Chief Executive Michael Houlihan says the opening of the new gallery, Te Ihomatua | Gallery on 4, is a significant step towards achieving plans to expand Te Papa’s art gallery space three-fold over the next few years.

Ihomatua is drawn from the Māori concept meaning the mind, the source of all thought and expression. Iho also speaks of connections between people, across cultures and through the generations.

“It is fitting that Colour & Light: Impressionism from France & America, the first exhibition in this elegant new space, focuses on the way that artists and ideas travelled between France and the United States. The Impressionists transformed art on both sides of the Atlantic.

“It’s a thought-provoking and engaging exhibition which shows how the Atlantic Ocean served as a bridge between French and American painters, as well as a shared subject and source of inspiration.”

The exhibition includes works by Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas and Cézanne.

Wellington is the exclusive venue for the exhibition which comprises over 60 paintings, sculptures, and prints from one of the world’s great Impressionist collections.

In March this year, Te Papa launched its new arts programme, Ngā Toi I Arts Te Papa. As part of the programme, the art galleries on Level 5 have been revitalised to create more wall space and make the most of natural light. Six monthly updates will see new works added to some galleries and completely new shows in others.

Te Papa has also recently launched a new website Works are reproduced in rich detail with layers of written and audio-visual information and there is an online magazine of expert essays, interviews and art commentary.

“This is all part of our new focus to show more of our collections more often, and at the same time bringing the best of New Zealand and international art to New Zealanders,” says Michael Houlihan.

Until 25 August, Te Papa is also showing Warhol: Immortal in the Visa Platinum Gallery, a collaboration with The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. This is the first time for some years that Te Papa has shown simultaneous international exhibitions.

Te Aka Matua, a new research reading room, has opened on Level 4 to replace the space made available for the new exhibition gallery.

“As has been the case for several years now, visitors, researchers and students wanting to use our reference books make an appointment and they now have a new space to conduct their research and study.

“It sits in the heart of the museum, and is restful and quiet with views over Oriental Bay,” said Michael Houlihan.

Colour & Light: Impressionism from France & America

Organised by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
13 July 2013 – 12 January 2014
Te Ihomatua | Gallery on 4, Te Papa
Charges apply

Visa Entertainment is giving art lovers the exclusive opportunity to buy tickets first. Tickets go on sale in the Visa Entertainment exclusive pre-sale from 9:00 am Friday July 5, until 5:00pm Sunday July 7, or until pre-sale tickets sell out. To purchase your ticket, visit Tickets for the general public will go on sale on Monday 8 July.

Background on Colour & Light: Impressionism from France & America

At the end of the 19th century, American artists flocked to Paris, then regarded as the world’s capital of culture and Bostonians were among the most enthusiastic in their embrace of ‘The New Painting’.

Colour & Light: Impressionism from France & America includes works by Monet, Degas, Rodin, Cassatt, Pissarro, Hassam, Whistler, Renoir, Homer, and Cézanne. It comprises paintings, sculptures, and prints – 61 works in all.

Whether portraying a water lily pond in Normandy or a sunny New England stoop, a dish of fruit in Paris or a parade in New York City, the impressionists worked from life, finding inspiration and beauty in the changing world around them.

Colour & Light features works in bronze by Rodin and Degas, portraits of writers and artists by their peers, and one of Monet’s shimmering depictions of his water-lily pond at Giverny.

A particular feature of the exhibition is the inclusion of 17 works on paper, which provide often intimate glimpses of the artists’ worlds. They include a charming lithograph of Renoir’s son Claude, or Coco, and a stunning print of a mother and child by Mary Cassatt, the only American to be accepted as one of the exhibiting French impressionists.

Visit the Te Papa website

Updated on 23rd July 2015