Click on the thumbnails below to find out more.
|Self-portrait 1929||Poplar trees 1929-30||Blythe’s Buildings, Napier 1932|
|Ruins, Napier circa 1932||Shakespeare Road, Napier 1932||The Duvauchelles pub and hills 1933|
|Riverbed, Waiau 1932||Mt Stewart, Waiau, North Canterbury circa 1931-32||The Rape Paddock, Northern Hawke’s Bay circa 1935|
|Hill landscape, North Canterbury 1934||The Aviatrix 1933||Mountain biological station, Cass 1936|
|Mountain biological station, Cass 1936||Mountains, Cass 1936||Mountains, Cass 1936|
Early work 1929-36
‘My way was clear’
Rita Angus studied at the Canterbury College School of Art from 1927 to 1933. Her conservative teachers encouraged accurate drawing rather than experimentation, so Angus had to learn about modern art from books and magazines. Landscapes were an early interest, and many of her works derived from sketching trips around Canterbury.
Angus developed rapidly as an artist. She painted her first important pictures, such as The Aviatrix, when she was still a student. By 1936, when she painted Cass, Angus had found the sharp, clear style that she would retain throughout her life.
Angus married fellow artist Alfred Cook in 1930, aged 22. The marriage was a spur-of-the-moment decision, she later said, and the couple separated in 1934 on the grounds of mutual incompatibility. To support herself, Angus then worked as a commercial artist. She continued to sign her pictures ‘Rita Cook’ until the 1940s.