"VIVID - The Paul Hartigan Story"




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Vivid is a rare, career-spanning survey of New Zealand artist Paul Hartigan.

Hartigan is the painter of the original Phantom, an icon in New Zealand art.
He is also the creative mind behind some of New Zealand’s best-known and
loved public sculptures: the neon works Colony (Auckland), Whipping the
(Wellington) and Nebula Orion

Hartigan was often in the right place at the right time: as a schoolboy he
was the protégé of the progressive team that set up New Plymouth’s
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in 1970; in the late '70s he was half of the
creative duo at Snake Studios; and in the mid-1980s he was the artistic
talent behind Gone On Neon, which transformed Auckland’s nightscape.

The book is a unique mix of biography and art history, generously
illustrated throughout, and will appeal to buyers of art books as well as
those interested in New Zealand’s visual and popular culture.

Don Abbott

RF Books




NZ$ 65.00

included in the above price

RF Books




© 2019 Sait Akkirman

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Publication date:

November 2015

240 x 190mm




Peter Simpson, The Spinoff, "Best Books of 2015":

"As I write, the retrospective exhibition of Paul Hartigan’s career is showing at the Gus Fisher Gallery. It’s a terrific show, as is Don Abbott’s book, Vivid: The Paul Hartigan Story . . . The writing is vigorous and lively and the reproductions are outstanding."


Paul Little, North and South:

“superbly produced monograph”


David Beattie, Beattie's Book Blog:

“perhaps the most spectacular book published in New Zealand this year” 


Graham Reid, New Zealand Herald:

"In this handsomely presented overview of Hartigan's career . . . Abbott -
with insightful reference to specific works through scores of full-colour
photos - follows . . . Hartigan" . . . "engaging, highly readable" 


Stella Ramage, New Zealand Books:

"Abbott is excellent on the cultural buzz of Snake Studios, where everyone
who was anyone in the contemporary art scene gathered. . . "


David Eggleton, Art New Zealand:

"Don Abbott performs a judicious and thorough job of joining the dots
between the sometimes puzzling twists and turns in the career of this
driven, self-challenging artist; legitimising Hartigan’s claim to be,
as Gregory O’Brien puts it in his foreword, ‘an heir to the atomised
universe of Len Lye’."


View exhibition opening and book launch at Gus Fisher Gallery

Independent Publisher Book Awards:
Winner Gold medal Australia/New Zealand – Best Regional Non-Fiction Book

Judge's comments:

“The aptly titled, VIVID: The Paul Hartigan Story, is a masterpiece of biography, covering the career of the New Zealand pop artist with insightful text and gallery-quality reproductions of his artwork. The book itself is a work of art.” – Jim Barnes, Director, Independent Publisher Book Awards