Few other 20th century New Zealand painters have received the international respect and admiration that has been accorded to Colin McCahon (1919-1987). The distinctive power and originality of his images have made him a giant of New Zealand painting.
McCahon was born in Timaru, but spent most of his life in Auckland, where he worked at the Auckland Art Gallery and taught at the Elam School of Art. He began as a landscape painter, and from this a visionary style evolved featuring the placement of religious images and words against New Zealand landscape backdrops. His painting career spanned five decades.
His desire to communicate to fellow New Zealanders through his painting was one of McCahon's central concerns. He once wrote: "As a painter I may often be more worried about you than you are about me, and if I were not concerned I'd not be doing my job properly as a painter. Painting can be a powerful way of talking."
New Zealand Post wishes to acknowledge the following for their assistance and guidance in bringing together this special stamp issue.
- The photograph that appeared on the first day cover was taken in December 1948 by Theo Schoon. Printed by permission of Anna-Maria Hertzer and Sally Schoon.
- Paintings and Colin McCahon's signature were reproduced with permission of the Colin McCahon Trust.
Product Listing for New Zealand Art - Colin McCahon
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||7 May 1997|
|Stamps and first day cover designed by:||Hamish Thompson, Wellington, New Zealand|
|Number of stamps:||Four|
|Denominations and designs:||40c The Promised Land, 1948; $1.00 Six Days in Nelson and Canterbury, 1950; $1.50 Northland Panels, 1958 (detail); $1.80 Moby Dick is Sighted off Muriwai Beach, 1972|
|Printer and process:||Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand by lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours, plus one special colour per denomination|
|Stamp size:||44.28mm x 30mm (horizontal)|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||100|
|Paper type:||103gsm red phosphor coated gummed stamp paper|
|Cost of unadressed first day cover:||$5.20|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint, positional or value blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps.|
|Colour blocks:||Also known as 'traffic lights', these blocks were included in plate blocks.|
|Barcode blocks:||Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats.|
|Special 'artist information' blocks:||These blocks, which contained the credits and copyright for the painting depicted, could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 7 May 1998.|