Mary McIntyre: Then and Now

Mary McIntyre was born in 1928 and is well known for her realist works in which she creates ambiguous, often surreal, narratives. One of New Zealand’s foremost realist, figurative painters, she has a reputation for producing works that defy political correctness and usually contain barbed humour or shafts of discomfort.

  • Opening Date: Tuesday, 12 April 2016
  • Closing Date: Sunday, 1 May 2016
  • Opening Time: Tues to Fri 11-5pm, Sat 11-4pm

Her knowledge of and interest in musculature and anatomy has been lifelong and she has the ability to render portraits with accuracy, capturing the essence of her models, particularly when she knows them well. She frequently paints herself as the protagonist in her works, the first such series being 'Identity Parade' in which she superimposed her face on the muscular figures of posing body builders. Over the years, we have observed her progress through life, from young bride to grandmother, in a string of works in which she has used herself as model.

McIntyre's paintings depict with honesty what she sees. Through her own portraits we watch the aging process as she documents it. Her paintings of nudes do not conform to the 'ideal' stereotype of the lithe, young model, but portray women of all shapes and sizes. Her vision is clear-sighted. Sexuality is a recurring theme in her work and, she believes, is an under-acknowledged and important influence in our lives.

This new series of paintings explore the changes in Mary's environment as she comes to terms with the intensification of the area around her home in Auckland.



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