Waikato Country Scene
Rather than the abstract paintings or the carved gourds he is more widely known for, this work by Geoff Fairburn features his love of landscape painting and sketching. The assured fluid lines and gestural watercolour treatment in this painting show a period in Fairburn’s practise that was soon to decline when his developing interest in Polynesian and Melanesian abstraction, and its various parallels with music, replaced it.
Geoff Fairburn (1905–1999) was born in Auckland. He never considered himself a professional artist, but he was trained in drawing at Elam School of Fine Arts. The brother of poet Rex Fairburn (1904–1957), Geoff spent most of his life in Hamilton as a writer, artist and critic. Fairburn had a strong personality with clear opinions about design, formal abstraction and developments in contemporary art. He had reviews published in the Waikato Times for over forty years that clearly demonstrated his resistance of developments in art towards the conceptual. Fairburn was a President and Life Member of the Waikato Society of Arts. Apart from shows at the WSA, and dealer galleries including John Leech and Christopher Moore, he also had a travelling survey of his abstractions at Waihi Arts Centre and Museum, as well as an exhibition of his gourds and archival material at Waikato Museum of Art & History in early 2000.
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357 x 492mm (image)
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