Rita Angus

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Rita Angus

A leading figure on the 20th-century New Zealand art scene, Rita Angus is recognised as a pioneer of modern painting. 

Her portraits of Betty Curnow and the sisters Fay and Jane Berkinshaw (now Fay Weldon), have become icons of the genre. Self-portraits were also an established theme and during her illustrious career Angus painted at least 55. 

However, critics agree it is her landscape paintings that are her most significant work. They are popular with the public too – in 2006 the landscape painting, Cass was voted the most famous artwork in New Zealand by New Zealanders.

In this excerpt from The Big Picture, Hamish Keith outlines Angus’ career: "most importantly of all, the paintings of Rita Angus are images we feel comfortable with. They couldn’t have been painted in any other place".

Find out more about Rita Angus:

Read the DNZB entry on Rita Angus by Jill Trevelyan. 

Read more about Rita Angus on NZ History

Image: Screengrab from The Big Art Trip.

Catalogue Reference F104006

Year 2007


Director: Paul Swadel
Producers: Fiona Copland, Bill Toepfer
Narrator: Hamish Keith

Excerpt: 00:02:54

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