Expressionist painter Allen Maddox attended the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts, Christchurch, New Zealand (1967-69), studying under the influential Lithuanian expressionist artist Rudolf Gopas. His painterly and sometimes violent imagery is frequently associated with the works of fellow New Zealand expressionist artists Philip Clairmont and Tony Fomison.

Maddox moved to Auckland in the late 1960s, establishing friendships with both artists and as the Militant Artists Union, all three nurtured romantic mythologies of the artist as an outsider. However, although Maddox’s images are similarly expressive, in his consideration and reworking of a single motif, the cross, they are also aesthetic abstract paintings, inviting comparison with New Zealand abstract artists such as Ian Scott and Gordon Walters. Maddox’s art is also informed by paradox. The cross implies the removal or negation of a mark as well as an affirmation of the artist as creator. Such tensions sustained the iconography he orchestrated over 25 years.

Maddox has work in the collections of the Auckland Art Gallery and Te Papa Tongarewa- Museum of New Zealand.

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