Acquisition highlights for 2011 include a group of prints by Jason Greig, one of the leading contemporary New Zealand printmakers of his generation. Greig has attracted increasing critical acclaim in recent years, but has mainly been known as an ‘artist’s artist’, with major holdings of his work owned by several notable artists.
Another highlight was the acquisition of four works by seminal sculptor and conceptual artist Jim Allen. Allen was one of the first in this country to consider how sculpture could be 'an activity rather than an object', making works which were immersive environments for audiences to walk through and around.
Landscape theme and variations: series B is an important painting by New Zealand's most significant artist of recent times, Colin McCahon. The eight-part painting is one of a group of works in which McCahon sought to create 'a true New Zealand environment'. Just as Jim Allen wanted sculpture to be an experience, not something to be viewed on a plinth, McCahon said he wished to 'throw people into an involvement with the raw land, and also with raw paint' in large, unframed paintings such as these.
Other significant acquisitions in 2011 include Anne Noble's 'Ruby's room' portfolio of 30 photographs; a selection of 25 photographs by Glenn Jowitt; jewellery by Peter McKay and Karl Fritsch; ceramics by Bronwynne Cornish and Len Castle; the 1953 painting Les deux amies by Louise Henderson; and a 1616 engraving by Dutch artist Jan Saenredam.