Gordon Walters (1919-1995) is best known for his paintings employing the koru, the curving bulb form from Maori moko and kowhaiwhai rafter patterns. He Mondrian-ised the koru, straightening and regimenting its scroll-like forms, taking it from organic to strictly geometric. The exhibition at Art Basel Hong Kong will present koru paintings from 1956 – 1983, along with Chrysanthemum (1944), which is considered to be one of his most important early works.
Walters is a revered figure in New Zealand, recognised for a long and productive career spanning four decades. The Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki presented a retrospective exhibition his work in 1983 and a survey exhibition Parallel Lines in 1994, and he has been included in many survey shows, including A Very Peculiar Practice: Aspects of Recent New Zealand Art at the City Gallery, Wellington. Walters is represented in the country’s major public collections and his place in our art history is also memorialised in the bi-annual Walters Prize exhibition and award at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.