Melvin Day- Continuum


Media Release: December, 2004. 

This summer, City Gallery Wellington is proud to present Melvin Day – Continuum, a celebration of the work of one of Wellington’s most respected painters.

Melvin (Pat) Day started his artistic training in 1934, when as a 11 year-old school boy he began attending Saturday morning classes held at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland.

Seven decades later – after serving in the RNZAF during World War II, studying and teaching overseas, serving as Director of the National Art Gallery (now Te Papa) and as Government Art Historian – Day continues to paint avidly. In 2003 he was created a CNZM in recognition of his outstanding contribution and services to New Zealand art.

City Gallery Wellington curator Gregory O’Brien says “Working across the genres of still-life, landscape and abstraction, Day is at once a radical and a traditionalist – a painter of strikingly modern works which incorporate forms and ideas derived from his study of the Renaissance. Melvin Day – Continuum highlights both Day’s intellectual concerns and the sheer physicality of his technique. The exhibition provides a long-awaited opportunity to experience the breadth and richness of Day’s practice.”

Melvin Day – Continuum draws upon the rich holdings of Day’s work in private and public collections in order to demonstrate the significant contribution this artist has made to New Zealand painting, and to the Wellington region in particular.