Wednesday, 22 November 2017

End of an era for controversial printmaker Lester Hall

It took a while for the message to get through as we initially didn't believe that printmaker Lester Hall was going to take nearly all of his prints off the market because he wanted to get away from the controversy that he had created.  Yep, despite their popularity with print buyers over the past five years the large majority of Lester's prints are being deleted and will not be available for sale again.

The arresting nature of his artworks was not after all an end in itself, to some extent they were an attention grabbing entry point to his deeply thoughtful philosophy of "Aoteroaland", the relationships between Maori and Pakeha and the land of Aotearoa.

Lester Hall  Photo: Dean Wright | Northern Advocate
Essentially Lester wants to move on and has "back catalogued", or withdrawn from sale, nearly all of his pre 2016/17 prints.  He wants collectors to see a refreshed range of prints and has produced some stunning new work which is less focussed on Ngati Pakeha themes, more art than activism.

We have felt a bit of heat over promoting Lester's artworks, the most intense was from descendants of some of his portrait subjects.  Our belief is that artworks do cause offence to some people but that just because a group of people are offended is not a reason to withdraw an artwork from sale.  New Zealand is a pretty diverse country, the internet makes it possible for us to show artworks to people who have completely different attitudes and beliefs and to only have prints for sale that would not offend anyone's sensibilities would be difficult.  We also believe in freedom of speech.

However Lester tells us he is over exploring these themes in his work

"It is certainly not a case of having had enough of the old work but definitely change that has come about due to angst & stress, moving away from the Maori & Pakeha narrative is proving beneficial in a lot of ways but most importantly [to] health and wellbeing." 

So we have two announcements to make, one is that the following prints are
"Blue Lady", new print from Lester Hall
being deleted, these will not be available ever again once stock on hand is sold out (look on the main image page for how many prints we have available to buy today if they are still showing in Lester's online collection at prints.co.nz).  The second is that we have over a dozen new prints by Lester Hall coming into stock in time for Xmas 2017.  The first of these are arriving soon, including the superb new artwork "Blue Lady" shown here.

Here is the list of prints that won't be re-printed once we sell out, we'll update this post once these images are no longer available.  Our understanding is that we have the very last prints of many of these editions at the time of writing (mid November 2017).

  • Grant Going
  • Royal Tour 
  • Te Rauparaha 
  • Mofo
  • Boogieman
  • Queenie
  • Phantom
  • Guns & Roses (portrait of Hongi Hika)
  • Only the Good Die Young
  • Wikitoria
  • Tiki Tour
  • Cheeky Little Darkie (sold out)
  • Kiwiana Tiki (sold out)
  • Buzzy Bee Tiki
  • Poll Tax
  • Barnett Burns
  • White Chief (sold out)
  • Tiki Mouse (sold out)
  • Aroha (Phantom & Diana)
  • Bondage
  • Ahumai Te Paerata (sold out)
  • Wahine (sold out)
  • Tui Races Jet
  • Piercy Rock
  • Hoki Mai: All is Forgiven
  • War Dog
  • Taniwha takes Wahine
  • Jetson's Tiki
  • Charlotte Badger

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