Paul Maseyk: Jugs in New Zealand Painting

May 18 2024 – Oct 13 2024

Over the past five years Paul Maseyk has been deep-diving into the Still Life genre of painting in Aotearoa New Zealand; in particular – looking to works depicting the humble jug.

This project combines two of Maseyk’s loves – paintings and jugs. In turn, Maseyk has made over 60 jugs modelled from the jugs seen in New Zealand paintings that he’s found by sifting through collections, magazines, and across the internet. Jugs in New Zealand Painting brings together some of these paintings from collections around Aotearoa.

The paintings span a wide art-historical canon, from Colin McCahon to Joanna Margaret Paul; Frances Hodgkins to Francis Upritchard; Edith Collier to Milan Mrkusich. Maseyk operates like a time-traveller, plucking the jugs from the works they were painted into like the pottery version of photocopying, a playful game of spot the clay doppelgänger. According to Maseyk: “I like to imagine that I have made a facsimile of the jug the artist had in his or her studio at the time they were creating their work.”

Paul Maseyk (b. 1974) lives and works in Ngāmotu New Plymouth. After completing his Diploma of Ceramic Design and Production in at Whanganui’s Polytechnic in 1997, Maseyk has since been awarded the Archie Bray Foundation of Ceramic Arts residency in Montana and the Medalta International Artist Residency in Alberta, Canada. He has worked alongside Barry Brickell OBE (1935-2016) at Driving Creek and Ross Mitchell-Anyon ONZM (1958-2022). Maseyk’s work is held in numerous collections both nationally and internationally.

This exhibition has been produced in partnership with Curator Programmes Manager Greg Donson and Te Whare o Rehua Sarjeant Gallery, where it will be shown in 2025 in their newly redeveloped and strengthened gallery.

The Dowse would like to thank lenders Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, The Fletcher Trust Collection, Hocken Collections Te Uare Taoka o Hākena, private lenders for their generosity.

This project would not have been possible without the support of Creative New Zealand Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa.

Jug by Paul Maseyk after John Week's 'Still Life with Yellow Jug' painting

Paul Maseyk, Still Life with Yellow Jug [after John Weeks], Jugs in New Zealand Painting. Image courtesy of Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui and the artist.