Tony Fomison — Kei Whea Tuku Whanau? Where Is My Family?
  • Kei Whea Tuku Whanau? Where Is My Family?(Cropped)
  • Kei Whea Tuku Whanau? Where Is My Family?(Framed)
  • Kei Whea Tuku Whanau? Where Is My Family?(Signature)
  • Kei Whea Tuku Whanau? Where Is My Family?(Reverse)

Lot 20382



New Zealand

Kei Whea Tuku Whanau? Where Is My Family?


Oil on canvas on board

56 x 76 cm

Title inscribed and dated '79


NZD $37,520
(incl. BP & GST if applicable)

Auction Closed

Mon. Aug. 8 2011 at 1:54am (NZST)

Lot Notes

 This painting is available for viewing at Ocula Galleries, Level 1, 25 Sale St, Freemans Bay, Auckland. Please phone (09) 303 3126 to make an appointment or feel free to come by the gallery anytime between 9am - 5pm weekdays.

Artist Profile

Tony Fomison (1939 - 1990) remains one of New Zealand’s most influential artists, widely acknowledged for his expressive paintings and prints, and his influence on contemporary Māori and Pacific art in New Zealand.

Fomison attended the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts (1956-1960) in Christchurch, where he was taught by the expatriate Lithuanian artist Rudi Gopas. Gopas was a powerful influence on a generation of artists and brought both a Modernist and European romantic sensibility to post war New Zealand art.

In the early 1960s Fomison worked for the New Zealand National Historic Places Trust documenting Māori rock art in South Canterbury. His later painting style of thin oil glazes on coarse hessian was vaguely reminiscent of the textured surfaces of rock walls and seemed a deliberate allusion, but it was possibly influenced by some of the techniques taught by Gopas.

Fomison has frequently been associated with New Zealand expressionist artists Philip Clairmont and Allen Maddox, similarly embracing the notion of the ‘artist-as-outsider.’ However, unlike these expressionist painters, his work is more engaged with Māori mythology and the landscape as a metaphor for the ‘past, present and future.’ Equally, Fomison's admiration for artists such as Goya, Blake and Fuseli reveals a greater curiosity in the nature of the psyche.

Fomison had an interest in cinematic narrative and this blended with a deep affection for Polynesian culture, especially Māori and Samoan. He referenced many myths and legends and then combined his own distinctive style from drawings and magazine photographs. His paintings – often surreal or humorous in ambience - often have a soft light that rakes across their human or landscape forms to be abruptly truncated by ominously shaped shadows that allude to the lighting in Expressionist film. 

Fomison was a vital influence on contemporary Pacific art and artists such as Fatu Feu’u, John Pule and Shane Cotton. His work is in all major New Zealand public collections. In 1994 New Zealand writer Ian Wedde curated a major survey, Tony Fomison: What Shall We Tell Them for the City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand, this was accompanied by a monograph by the same name.

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View In Gallery


Private collection Sydney

Purchased FHE Galleries


Signature and Inscriptions

Title inscribed and dated '79 verso;

Also inscribed verso in artists hand: Elva: don't reframe this painitng


Condition and Measurements

Good condition, frame is very heavy. There is some slight fraying at very edge of artwork in the corner, please see detail photograpghs. If you require a more detailed report or would like to view the painting please contact us.

This painting is available for viewing at Ocula Galleries, Level 1, 25 Sale St, Freemans Bay, Auckland. Please phone (09) 303 3126 to make an appointment or feel free to come by the gallery anytime between 9am - 5pm weekdays.


Excluding Frame:
56 cm
76 cm
Overall Size (including frame, if applicable):
100.5 cm
113 cm
4.5 cm

View At Ocula Black Gallery

This artwork is available to be viewed in person at our gallery in Auckland. The gallery is located at:

Level One
25 Sale Street
Freemans Bay
New Zealand

Opening Hours
Monday - Friday : 10am - 6pm
Saturday : By appointment

+64 9 3033 126

* You can also view any artwork being offered for sale in an Ocula online auction in 3D virtual format by clicking on the 'View in Virtual Gallery' link above. Our gallery in Sale St, Auckland has been fully rendered in full 3D scale format so that users can get a sense of scale for any artworks offered for sale through Ocula Black.

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Artwork Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Artwork Dimensions (including frame, if applicable): 100.5 x 113 x 4.5 cm
Artwork Weight: 30 KG

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Right of Return
The seller provides a 14 day 'Right Of Return' policy. The seller warrants that the artwork is authentic and that the information and images they have supplied is true and correct to the best of their knowledge.

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More Information

If you would like more information about this artwork then please contact us. Or if you would prefer, please call us in Australia on 1800 045 308, in the USA on 1 855 488 3669, in Hong Kong on 800 901 252 and in New Zealand on 09 3033 126.

We have the expertise to answer most questions and will research on your behalf if we don't have the answers.

Bid History

Displaying last 50 bids

brickpol NZD $30,500
8 August at 1:50 a.m.
whitewash NZD $29,000
8 August at 1:48 a.m.
brickpol NZD $28,000
8 August at 1:42 a.m.
whitewash NZD $27,000
8 August at 1:33 a.m.
brickpol NZD $23,000
8 August at 12:43 a.m.
brickpol NZD $21,000
7 August at 9:29 p.m.

How Bidding Works for the Australia China Art Foundation fundraising auction.

This is a silent auction where by bidders have to submit their maximum bid. Please enter your maximum bid amount and click on the 'Place Bid' button. You will be taken to a confirm bid page where you can review your bid and enter your intended delivery address before confirming the bid. Upon confirming your bid you will be notified if your bid is below another bidders maximum bid. At this point you can increase your bid however as this is a silent auction we can not disclose what the highest bid is. Once your bid has been confirmed you will receive an email to confirm that bid. You will be notified by email if another bidder places a maximum bid that is higher than your current bid. You can continue to place higher bids but not lower your bid during the course of the online auction.

At the end of the auction (12am CST 27 November) the highest online bid will be measured against any other absentee bids and the highest overall bid will win the auction.

For further help with bidding please contact Ocula Black


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