Shane Cotton: Survey 1993- 2003 is the first major survey exhibition of leading New Zealand contemporary painter, Shane Cotton (Ngapuhi: Ngati Rangi, Ngati Hine and Te Uri Taniwha). The exhibition brings together 29 works from public and private collections, some never previously exhibited, spanning a decade of Cotton's challenging and innovative painting. It is the most recent in a series of exhibitions by City Gallery Wellington featuring contemporary artists who are leaders in their fields.
Curated by Lara Strongman, City Gallery Wellington Senior Curator, Shane Cotton: Survey 1993- 2003 maps the evolution of Cotton's painting. The exhibition begins with the sepia-toned works of the early 1990s, where Cotton drew upon the symbolism of 19th century Maori figurative painting to explore historical exchanges between Maori and Pakeha.
A selection of works from the mid 1990s show Cotton's increasing interest in bringing text into his painting, and paintings from the late 1990s demonstrate the impact of his year as the Frances Hodgkins Fellow in Dunedin, where he was able to paint full-time and research into his family and iwi history, resulting in a major series dealing with Ngapuhi's early interaction with Christianity.
Ending with seven stunning examples of Cotton's most recent work, this exhibition includes some of the most highly regarded painting produced in New Zealand in the past 10 years.