Gerry Nigro was a New Zealand artist mostly working during the 1970’s in both his home country and Australia. This piece of art titled ‘Island series’ in the Te Papa Collection is such an example of his vibrant and multi-dimensional art style. Gerry and his wife Jan, another key NZ artist, were in Australian during the 1950’s. This was an important period of art that saw the emergence of the daring art style of abstraction, influenced from international artists. One can see the influence of this art style upon Nigro’s work, with this brilliant interplay between the use of striking colours in order to suggest form and space, in an otherwise two-dimensional plain. The abstraction of the forms and ideas rely on the viewers’ own interpretation of the feelings and imagery emoted within the picture. With a hint the artist’s intention through the title ‘Island’, one could perhaps be reminded of a vibrant sun setting on the water, or the mimicking of these semi-circular shapes perhaps suggesting mountains and lakes. The point of abstraction, however, wasn’t to understand what is being depicted, but to focus on how these colours and shapes made the viewer respond to or feel about the work. Nevertheless this is a seemless oil painting that excites and incites the imagination with its brilliant colours and 2-dimensional shapes.
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