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Leitmotif: Abstract Portraits By Shannon Novak


Wed 12 Oct 2016, 10:30am–4:30pm
Thu 13 Oct 2016, 10:30am–4:30pm
Fri 14 Oct 2016, 10:30am–4:30pm
Sat 15 Oct 2016, 10:30am–4:30pm
Sun 16 Oct 2016, 10:30am–4:30pm

Where: New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Shed 11, Wellington Waterfront, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Shannon Novak uses the language of geometric abstraction and colour to create portraits of people who have inspired and influenced him - his mentors, heroes and family members - from Swiss-German artist Paul Klee, to leading scholar of Maori art, Jonathan Mane- Wheoki. A synesthete, the portraits in Leitmotif reflect the relationship between sound, colour, form, time, space and social connections, while questioning our preconceptions of a ‘likeness’ within portraiture.

The title, Leitmotif refers to a short piece of music used to introduce a character, place or idea to the audience. Interacting with each other through the course of say, an opera, these leitmotifs reveal the presence of a particular person – in the same way Novak’s portraits can be seen to introduce us to the aura or energies of each individual.

This exhibition has been in development since 2012, and we are excited to share with you Novak’s unique perspective on portraiture.

Please join us for an artist talk at 12 pm on Thursday 11th August, 12 pm - 1 pm, where Shannon will discuss Leitmotif in more detail and in the context of his work to date.

Shannon Novak is an artist based in Auckland, New Zealand. His work spans painting, sculpture, and installation, with a focus on using geometric forms to explore his deep and abiding interest in the interrelationships between sound, colour, form, time, space, and social context. He has been engaged in public commissions in Auckland, New Plymouth, and Denver, and co-founded West gallery at The University of Auckland in 2012.

His work has been shown internationally in venues such as the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Ningbo Museum of Art, and Georgia Museum of Art. He recently completed a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in 2016.

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