The art of Rita Angus

You may have come across the current Facebook meme, asking you to break up other (political) posts with art. If someone then “likes” the art you posted, you have to nominate an artist whose works they then have to choose from themselves to post about and so on.

I was given the New Zealand artist Rita Angus (1908-1970), someone I did not know much (ok, let’s be honest: anything) about. Her work falls primarily into two categories – portraits and landscapes – and she was active from the 1930s to the 1960s.

I love these portraits from the 1930s:

During WWII Rita Angus refused factory work to support the war effort and was prosecuted by the Industrial Manpower Committee. Her refusal stemmed from her deeply held pacifist beliefs and from her commitment to working as an artist. Pacifism inspired her “goddess paintings”. She worked on Rutu for six years.

If you would like to learn more about her work, the website of a major retrospective exhibition held in Christchurch and Auckland in 2009 is a great resource. Not only can you see most of her pictures, but there is also a lot of great information about her life and each of the works.

If you would like to see her work in person, it appears that you have to travel to New Zealand:

I leave you with a couple of landscapes:

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