John Drawbridge    [New Zealand 1930-2005]

John Drawbridge, painter and print maker, born in Wellington, New Zealand, educated at Wellington Teachers College and Dunedin Teachers College. He arrived in London in 1957 to study at the Central School of Arts (1957-60)and spent a year in Paris pursuing printmaking. In the early 1960s he exhibited successfully in London and obtained the commission to paint a huge mural for New Zealand House in 1961, Upon his returned to New Zealand in 1963 with his English-born wife, the sculptor and silversmith Tanya Ashken, his abstract work had a mixed reception in his local city, Wellington. In 1967 the New Zealand Government presented one of his abstract paintings ‘Coastline, Island Bay’ to Canada to mark Canada’s centenary, although its abstract treatment aroused hostility in the Wellington press. During the 1970s he experimented with new techniques, painting on metal surfaces and exploring optical effects. As a print maker he specialised in mezzotint.

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