Something Beautiful

Tony Fomison, 'Beethoven', 1981
Tony Fomison, ‘Beethoven’, 1981, Auckland Art Gallery Chartwell Gift Collection

Amidst the flurry of Triennial activities in Auckland last week, LOL encountered a work at Auckland Art Gallery that was, simply, beautiful. It was included in a modest exhibition of paintings by the late NZ artist, Tony Fomison. All too easily pigeonholed into the ‘New Zealand Gothic’ category, it is fair to say that Fomison’s work is often sombre, sometimes tortured – inhabited by distorted figures that variously recall Polynesian folklore, religious iconography and even the torment of the dead and dying.  This is what makes ‘Beethoven’ (above) so arresting.  Unlike Fomison’s typically dark terrain, the solitary figure here inhabits a domain of light, and one can’t help but entertain all of the symbolic associations that go with it; warmth; enlightenment, hope.  A strange McCahon/Friedrich fusion, Fomison’s ‘Beethoven’ – painted over 30 years ago – is still radiant.

Something Beautiful

2 thoughts on “Something Beautiful

  1. Les says:

    It really is beautiful, and so nice to see something that is simply that. I really enjoy these posts, Serena.

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