The Group: Flying No Standard
06 Jun – 04 Oct 2020
We are a group flying no standard, we have no plank or platform, nor do we make one of having none. The work of each member is distinct, we are representative of no school, we are not afraid of the unusual and the new, nor do we attempt to reduce anything to a formula.
- W.S. Baverstock, ‘Art notes: Christchurch: the 1929 Group’.
With artworks by Rita Angus, Louise Henderson and Olivia Spencer Bower, alongside many others, The Group: Flying No Standard presents works from The Dowse Collection by some of the leading figures from The Group.
Established in 1927, in response to the conservative and dominating art societies of the time, The Group was an informal arts association based in Christchurch. They regularly held exhibitions at the Canterbury Society of Art (CSA), featuring artworks by significant art historical figures.
Artists could exhibit as many of their works as they chose and hang them as they wished, encouraging audience members to consider more sympathetically the personal outlook of each artist. Contemporary practice blossomed throughout Aotearoa due to the efforts of The Group, with the association quickly becoming a significant national organisation.
In the 1960s the impact of The Group began to decline. Smaller, practice-focused exhibitions had become the norm and in 1977, with a reputation of now being ‘super respectable’, The Group disbanded, leaving behind a historical imprint still recognised today.
The Group: Flying No Standard showcases the diversity of style and form associated with the iconic legacy of The Group.