Author(s): Jill Trevelyan
From Montana award-winning author Jill Trevelyan comes the first biography of Peter McLeavey, the charismatic, pioneering art dealer who since the 1950s has shaped - even transformed - New Zealand art. McLeavey's personal story is remarkable but in it, his contemporaries will recognise common themes: the religious upbringing; the struggle to be bohemian in a repressive mid-century small town; the quiet agonies of marriage and children, the need to make a mark. Through exclusive access to McLeavey's extensive and hitherto untapped archive of letters, diaries, exhibition files and more, this book offers insights into the artists McLeavey has represented across half a century. Here, in their own words - lively, salty, and often heart-breaking - are Colin McCahon, Toss Woollaston, Len Lye, Milan Mrkusich, Michael Smither, Gordon Walters, Michael Illingworth, Don Driver, Robin White, John Reynolds, Yvonne Todd and many, many more. Far more than a simple biography, this is the big story of contemporary New Zealand art itself, in a period of massive change and growth, and Trevelyan offers an utterly fresh and compelling historical account of the birth of the modern art market and the status of art today. A must-read for anyone interested in New Zealand's art, culture or recent history.
NZ POST BOOK AWARDS - Book of the Year 2014 Winner
NZ POST BOOK AWARDS - General Non-Fiction Winner 2014
Jill Trevelyan is a curator and writer specialising in New Zealand art from the mid-twentieth century. She was the editor of 'Toss Woollaston: A Life in Letters' (Te Papa Press, 2004), shortlisted for the Montana Books Awards in 2005, co-curator of Te Papa's exhibition 'Rita Angus: Life & Vision', 2008 and co-editor of the accompanying catalogue, and author of 'Rita Angus: An Artist's Life' (Te Papa Press, 2008), winner of the Montana Medal for Non-Fiction in 2009.