Self portrait December 1948, oil, Alexander Turnbull Library art collection, Wellington

In his own image – how Douglas MacDiarmid sees himself

Self-portraits are amongst the hardest, most exacting form of art, especially if the painter is honest. Unlike the snapshot selfies of the me generation, these images are usually less driven by vanity and more by practical or analytical purposes. When no model is available, there is always that face the painter knows best – the
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Landscape paintings of New Zealand by Christopher Johnstone (featuring Douglas MacDiarmid)

Book extract: Landscape Paintings of New Zealand 2013

Even when deeply unfashionable, Douglas MacDiarmid continued to be inspired by the landscapes of his travels and gradually came to realise how much the wild volcanic country of his childhood resided in him. When the first edition of Christopher Johnstone’s Landscape Paintings of New Zealand – A Journey from North to South was first published
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Christchurch, March 1945 by Douglas MacDiarmid. Wells Family Collection, New Zealand

Tim and Sherrah Francis art auction – an unsurpassed MacDiarmid record

Twelve months on from Art and Object’s memorable Auckland auction of the Tim and Sherrah Francis’ vast art collection, the record personal prices achieved for two stunning early MacDiarmid oil paintings remains unprecedented. There were four of Douglas’ paintings in the late couple’s diverse catalogue sales on 6th and 7th September 2016, each expected to
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Torso of dejected Greek hero Jason in Lucidity II 2004-06 by Douglas MacDiarmid

Lucidity is the wound most like that of the sun II (2004-2006)

The latest offering by Douglas MacDiarmid on the New Zealand auction scene is also the most contemporary of his paintings to come under the hammer. This uncompromising work is the largest of three acrylic paintings of an emaciated body, and is based on a line from leading 20th Century French poet René Char: La lucidité est
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In the mirror, and dancing by CK Stead

In the mirror, and dancing – a splendid creative outing

Every so often a chance comes along that is a perfect creative fit. So it was when Wellington’s prodigiously talented O’Brien brothers, Gregory and Brendan, approached Douglas MacDiarmid to ask if he had any line drawings that could illustrate a little volume of poems being hand-printed to celebrate octogenarian CK Stead’s term as New Zealand’s
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Life and Times of Douglas MacDiarmid biography

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