Mythologising McCahon: A Heretical View
McCahon has frequently been characterised as a prophet, the greatest New Zealand artist, and exceptional, as if his works are somehow outside history and beyond criticism. This mythologisation has largely passed unquestioned in art critical and historical texts over the last sixty years. This essay views McCahon’s work and mythologised persona from a different perspective. It emphasises art-making processes and the business of establishing a public profile that ground his work and person in the material, everyday world, rather than elevating them transcendentally. A different picture of McCahon’s art and the means by which it came to be so idealised and hallowed emerges.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:The Journal of New Zealand Studies retains the copyright of material published in the journal, but permission to reproduce articles free of charge on other open access sites will not normally be withheld. Any such reproduction must be accompanied by an acknowledgement of initial publication in the Journal of New Zealand Studies.