Object: Mondrian’s last chrysanthemum
This image has All Rights Reserved. Image © Courtesy of the Colin McCahon Research and Publication Trust
Please follow the Buy or license link under each image to apply to use this image. (Charges may apply)
Why you need to apply for the use of this image
Rights for this work may be:
- controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders; or
- unclear - Te Papa will do a more detailed analysis of the work’s rights history; or
- covered by Te Papa’s Mana Taonga principle which supports the rights of holders of traditional knowledge to determine how the image may be used.
You need to make sure you don’t infringe on the rights of third parties before you use this image. Our image request process helps with this. Te Papa does not authorise the use of this image beyond the uses allowed by the “fair dealing” provisions of the New Zealand Copyright Act, 1994.
More information about copyright
We recommend these resources for more information:
- Copyright in NZ - Ministry of Economic Development
- Copyright guidelines and resource - Lianza
- Enabling use and re-use - Digital NZ
Find more information about Te Papa's rights project on our blog, including how rights types are assigned.
Get in touch
Please contact email@example.com
- if you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, or
- if you wish to contact the rights holder for this work. We will assist where we can.
|Title||Mondrian’s last chrysanthemum|
McCahon, Colin (artist), 1976, Auckland
|Medium summary||acrylic on paper|
|Materials||acrylic paint, paper, hardboard|
x 1093mm (Width)
Frame: 1003mm (Height) x 1372mm (Width) x 34mm (Depth)
|Credit line||Purchased 2008|
Colin McCahon was preoccupied by the threat of nuclear war. Here, he depicts the moment of impact – an explosion turning the sky a fiery red. Below, we see the outcome – darkness and smoky grey rubble. The word ‘ash’ recalls President Kennedy’s famous 1962 speech about the possibility of nuclear war: ‘the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth’.
The painting is named after Piet Mondrian, a pioneering abstract artist who posed a crucial question for Colin McCahon: Where to from abstraction?
McCahon believed that the answer lay not in more refinement but in ‘more involvement in the human situation’. For him, art needed a message. ‘Painting,’ he wrote, ‘can be a potent way of talking.’
Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.