Erection 1

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This work comes from a pivotal period in Lynn’s work, after her abandonment of painting in 1968 (despite her considerable talent), which she determined was too freighted with a history dominated by patriarchal values. Her adoption of print as a primary mode of production was intended as a way of distancing herself from the male-dominated expressionist discourse associated with the “painterly” qualities of brush strokes. The prints, drawings and collages that she produced subsequently are among her most recognisable and well-known works.

In this and other works, Lynn seeks to move away from the canonical formats of landscape and portraiture, inherited from the academic art tradition of 19th-century Europe, intending instead to develop a visual language that addresses the body in a more universal way—in effect, treating the body itself as a landscape.

A crucial element of Lynn’s work is her engagement with feminist ideas. Although she resists being labelled as a “feminist artist” or a “woman artist,” preferring that her status as an artist not be contingent on such labels, Lynn’s practice critiques the social and cultural constraints placed on women in Western culture. Over the seven decades as an artist, the feminist language Lynn developed in her work has a particular resonance now, especially in the context of contemporary
debates about the politics of gender.

Lynn’s practice remains under-explored and under-represented. However, engagement with this artist and her work offers rich and valuable insights into the development of contemporary art practice in New Zealand.
Pencil and gouache on paper
620 x 500mm
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