Tom Kreisler exhibition
Tom Kreisler was an exhibition of artwork by New Zealand artist Tom Kreisler, which toured New Zealand in 2007.
Tom Kreisler 2007. Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (installation view)
Tom Kreisler was an exhibition of more than 60 paintings and altered readymades by New Zealand artist Tom Kreisler (1938-2002), drawn from national and international collections. It was the first major survey of Tom’s work in almost 20 years, and included several works, drawings and notebooks that had not previously been publicly exhibited.
Tom was born in Argentina to a Jewish family that had fled Europe to escape the Nazis. He came to New Zealand when he was 13 years old and spent most of his adult life teaching art to high-school students in New Plymouth. Tom’s geographical, cultural and psychological displacement from Argentina shaped his vision for the rest of his life. His paintings have a striking originality and rich, subversive humour, which is different to the darkness and heaviness of New Zealand art at that time.
After a 35-year career, Tom left behind a huge legacy of artwork that many of New Zealand’s art commentators consider to be among the most significant paintings produced in New Zealand in recent times. Curated by Aaron Kreisler, Tom’s youngest son, Tom Kreisler exposed the layers of meaning in the artist’s work. It examined his preoccupation with the big themes in life – love, death, danger and happiness - and the relationship between humour and tragedy.
The exhibition was launched at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (New Plymouth) and toured to Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery (Wellington), Artspace Aotearoa (Auckland) and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. It was accompanied by the release of comma dot dogma, which is a 196-page monograph of Tom’s work that includes essays by Deborah Cain, Wystan Curnow, John Hurrell and Aaron Kreisler. comma dot dogma was a finalist in the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
Published 02 November 2023
“Having lived with myself as a foreigner, an outsider to most cultures, I know what I like in my work, and try to shape it accordingly.”
2007 to 2010
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