Ralph Hotere Collection
This collection comprises more than 60 graphic works and paintings by major New Zealand contemporary artist Ralph Hotere. A long-time supporter of the Eastern Southland Gallery, Hotere chose to gift 36 lithographs to Gore in 2001. These works form the nucleus of the collection but have since been augmented with further gifts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and private donors. Included are paintings from the Sangro and Song Cycle series, monoprints from the Pine series, lithographs from the Round Midnight, Window in Spain and Black Window series and a number of works based on the poems of Bill Manhire. With one of the largest Hotere collections in the country, the Gallery maintains a permanent programme of exhibitions based around these gifts.
Ralph Hotere was widely regarded as one of this country’s greatest artists, and until his death in 2013 he had been at the forefront of New Zealand painting for over four decades.
Hone Papita Raukura (Ralph) Hotere was born in the remote Northland settlement of Mitimiti in 1931. After specialising in art at Auckland Teachers’ College, Dunedin Teachers’ College and the Otago School of Art, he went on to study at the Central School of Art, London in 1961, thanks to a NZ Art Societies Fellowship.
Hotere went on to study in France and after several exhibitions in London returned to
New Zealand in 1965. 1969 saw him take up the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship at the University of Otago, in the city of Dunedin, where he chose to live and work for the rest
of his life.
While Hotere was known primarily as a painter, his approach is difficult to categorise.
He was equally at home utilizing industrial materials for large-scale public works, as
he was with the delicate processes of the master-printer’s studio. His profound and engaging images have their roots in his Aupouri background, but also in collaborations
with New Zealand writers, his astute and often biting political commentary, and his innovative manipulation of art-making materials and processes.
Represented in every major public collection (including substantial holdings in Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand), Ralph Hotere exhibited widely and internationally since the mid 1960s. He has also been the subject of two substantial national touring exhibitions, five books and two feature films.