The Endless Possibilities of Portraiture. A retrospective exhibition of the portrait art of Piera McArthur


Piera McArthur


Shed 11

Start date: 

14 November 2013

End date: 

9 February 2014

Self Portrait of a Painter 1984, oil on canvas
Self Portrait of a Painter 1984, oil on canvas

“The Endless Possibilities of Portraiture” is a colourful and varied exhibition of the lifetime’s work of Piera McArthur, one of New Zealand’s most celebrated painters. It allows insights into the creative process from rough sketch to canvas, in her relentless pursuit of the painterly vision.


Piera McArthur has painted since she was five, once at an early age even sketching her father’s surgical patients, overheard comparing notes. “I am essentially a painter of people” she says, “and the sight of human activity is enough to start explosions of imagination.” Her ‘endless possibilities’ include musicians, orthodox monks, grandees of every sort, socialites, painters and performers. Her affectionately satirical eye scans humanity in a process that involves wit, sarcasm, tenderness, even a certain brutality.  The exhibition is supported by sketch pads, notes, and drawings, and its varied subject categories reflect the good fortune and opportunities in a lifetime of work valued for its explosion of colour and energy."


This exhibition is sponsored by