"Flora Scales and John Weeks are two notable New Zealand modernist painters who have been underrecognised for their contribution to the development of New Zealand art. Scales was born in 1887, and pursued art from an early age. She travelled to Europe to study painting in 1908, and again in the early 1930s, when she studied under Hans Hofmann. On her return to New Zealand in 1934, she met and artistically influenced Toss Woollaston. Weeks was a lecturer at Elam from the 1930s through to the 1950s. Among many other students, he taught important modernist painter Louise Henderson. These examples of the two artist's work demonstrate the aesthetic and technical qualities that make them both important to New Zealand art history.”
[Flowers in a Green Vase]
Still life. Flowers in a green vase against dark lower half of canvas. Loosely painted coloured shapes occupy the upper canvas. Vertical mark left of centre on vase.
LL scratched into paint 19
LL blue brush point 19?? (last 2 digits obscured by overpainting)
LR thick blue paint Scales
Sold by auction at Webb's, Auckland, New Zealand, Select, 19.02.2023, Lot 12
Auckland, New Zealand
Dated in reference to Mixed Flowers [BC052] and Flowers: St Ives [BC053].
Flora Scales added the vertical mark to the vase and the brown below the vase in 1978. At the same time the central yellow flower was worked on and the signature and date were added. The artist remarked while doing this that she had “always wanted to finish this painting.”
Flora Scales, The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatū, Nelson, 2018, back cover (colour)
Catalogue text, Select, Webb's, Auckland, New Zealand, 2023
Photos by Sam Hartnett