I was in Wellington to attend the opening of my friend Mary McIntyre’s new exhibition at the NZ Portrait Gallery, in Shed 11 on the waterfront. If you live in Wellington, or are visiting it between now and 18 July, don’t miss it.
Curated by Richard Wolfe (that’s him above with the artist and her Minotaur at Maungarei), it is Mary’s first retrospective and I think her biggest show ever. Called Head 2 Head, it is a joint show with Martin Ball who is a realist artist working often on a very large scale. Mary’s paintings vary widely in scale, from roundels just 80 mm in diameter to large oils 1.5 metres wide. They vary just as much in their degree of realism: often there are surreal elements or bizarre juxtapositions. There is a sharp eye and a keen brain at work here, and a formidable technique.
Next month will see the launch of the book Mary McIntyre: Painter by art historian Robin Woodward of Auckland University, which has been designed by Jacinda Torrance. I’ve seen and read the page proofs: it will be a beautiful book and the text is illuminating throughout. Everyone involved in both exhibition and book has done Mary proud.