Shane Cotton: Te Ao Hou is a thematic survey exhibition focussing on a small grouping of works from the 1990s. The exhibition recognises this period as the era in which Cotton produced some of his finest works, both in their significance to his artistic practice and within the context of New Zealand art history.
Having established himself as an abstract painter in the late 1980s, the early 1990s mark a somewhat surprising turning point in the young artist’s career. Where his earlier works were Biomorphic, in his exhibition of new works in Wellington in 1993 Cotton presented detailed pictorial representations that nodded to New Zealand’s post-colonial history. Painted in an anachronistic style and sepia tones these works were the first and most intense of many reinventions of Cotton’s style and mark the beginning of a period for which Cotton has enjoyed widespread critical acclaim.