Artist Roland Wakelin, 1887-1971


From the painting’s label at the Auckland Art Gallery:

Roland Wakelin (1887-1971), New Zealand, Wellington Rooftops c1925

Oil on Board, Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki
purchased with assistance from the friends of the Auckland Art Gallery, 1978

After arriving in Sydney [Australia] in 1912, Roland Wakelin developed theories about the experimental use of colour. He called these paintings ‘synchromies’. Created in Wellington during a brief trip home, this work’s broad colours mix angles and curves, reflecting what the artist had learned fromPost-Impressionism.

‘All will agree that a work of art should possess balance in its design, should be a cosmos, the total of whose parts make a unity. Everyone knows that 5 + 2 + 3 equals 10. To the colorist Yellow + Blue + Violet in the right proportions similarly constitute a unity.’ Roland Wakelin.

Roland Wakelin, together with his friend Lloyd Rees, taught John Tranter drawing, composition and art at the University of Sydney Architecture Faculty in 1961.