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Artists I have worked with:


PAUL CULLEN
BING DAWE
DES HELMORE

JOHN LYALL
GREGORY O'BRIEN
JAN NIGRO
MICHAEL SHEPHERD


Exhibition Archive


JAN NIGRO 1920 - 2012  
 

Born to Olive Beatrice Aislabie (nee Lange) and Arthur Aislabie a daughter, Betty Aislabie, on 16th April, in Gisborne. Educated Napier Girls High School.

1936-38
Moved to Auckland to study at Elam School of Fine Arts under the tutelage of AJC Fisher, Lois White, John Weeks.

1937
Painted 'The Dutch Girl', 'Portrait of Gerry Nigro' and 'Head of a Girl' which was later reproduced on the cover of "The Arts in New Zealand", December 1944 issue.

1938
Won a special prize at Elam as the "Student making the most progress during the year."

1939
Became a junior member of the Auckland Society of Arts (ASA) and exhibited at the Auckland City Art Gallery.
Met Eve Langley.

1940
ASA Members Exhibition at the Auckland City Art Gallery.

1942
Married Angelo (Gerry) Nigro in Auckland. Changed painting name from Betty Aislabie to Jan Nigro. Moved to Rotorua, staying with Gerry's uncle while continuing to paint.

1945
Moved to Hamilton. Man powered as a draftsperson to the Karapiro Dam Site.

1946
Birth of first child, John Vincent Nigro. Sailed to Sydney, settling in Glebe.
Exhibited with the Contemporary Art Society in Sydney.

1948
Moved to Malvern, Melbourne.
First solo exhibition at Velasquez Gallery, opened by the NZ Trade Commissioner.
Received letter of invitation from George Bell to join the Melbourne Contemporary Artists which later became the George Bell Group.
Joined the Victorian Artists and exhibited with them at the Albert Street Gallery, Melbourne.
Also exhibited in Pictures by Melbourne Artists held at the Tyes Gallery, Melbourne, and the Melbourne Contemporary Artists Exhibition at the Albert Street Gallery.
Finalist for the J.H. Phillimy Prize, Geelong Art Gallery, Australia.

1949
Victorian Artists Autumn Show at the Albert Street Gallery, Melbourne.

1950
Second One Woman Show at Georges Gallery, Melbourne, opened by George Bell.
Melbourne Society of Artists Annual Exhibition in October.
Placed fifth in the Dunlop Australian Art Contest, 1950. Won by Sidney Nolan. Judged by Darryl Lindsay, Director of the National Gallery, Victoria; Lawrence Thomas, Acting Assistant Director; Hal Missingham, Director of the NSW National Gallery, Sydney; Professor Joseph Burke and Lewis McGubbin.

1951
ASA Annual Exhibition, 29 May - 17 June, group exhibition, Auckland. Exhibited at the ASA, with Geoff Fairburn, 20 July - 3 August. "The Red Hat" was purchased by the Auckland City Art Gallery.

1952
"Morning" purchased by the National Gallery of Victoria through the Allen R. Henderson Bequest.
Returned to Rotorua and moved into new house designed and built by Gerry.
Solo exhibition with the Wellington Community Arts Service, toured the North Island.
Met Dr W Stanley Wallis, Melvin Day and Zoe Ireland.
Joined the Rotorua Arts Society formed by Dr Wallis and exhibited with them.
Second son, Gregory Thomas Nigro born.

1954
Melbourne Contemporary Artists Group Show, Albert Street Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
ASA Members Exhibition, Auckland City Art Gallery.
Third son, Peter Nigro born.

1956
Birth of only daughter, Gina Anne Nigro.
NZ Painting Exhibition, Auckland Festival of the Arts, Auckland City Art Gallery.
Exhibited "Red Hat". ASA Annual Exhibition, Auckland.

1957
Festival 40 Exhibition, exhibited "Dancer in Red Tights" and "Sandhills, Kawhia".

1958
Guest artist for the Waikato Society of Arts Exhibition held at the Waikato Art Gallery, Hamilton.

1961
Thermal Abstracts, solo exhibition at the ASA Gallery, Auckland.
Visited Japan.
Moved to the Gold Coast and joined the Brisbane CAS and exhibited with them. Met Cecilia McNally.
Became an inaugural member of the Gold Coast Art Society. Two paintings, "The Entertainers" and "Ancient Strata" accepted for the Grafton Jacaranda Arts Festival, Australia.

1963
Returned to New Zealand, living at Northcote, continuing "The Pioneers Series".
Contemporary New Zealand Painting & Sculpture Exhibition, Auckland City Art Gallery, also toured the provincial centres.
Thirty NZ Painters a New Zealand touring exhibition
organised by the National Council of Education. Contemporary Art Society Exhibition, Brisbane, Australia.

1965
Paintings by Auckland Artists, Auckland Festival of Art exhibition, Auckland Society of Arts.
The Pioneers, solo exhibition, John Leech Gallery, Auckland, opened by Professor Sampson, Auckland University.
Part-time tutoring with Louise Henderson at the ASA.
Became a member of the ASA Council.

1967
Drawings by NZ Artists, Manawatu Art Gallery, Palmerston North, also shown in Auckland.
Solo exhibition, New Vision Gallery, showing the results of experimenting with colour - "High Dive I, II and III".
Invited Artists, ASA Gallery, Auckland.

1968
NZ Painting Today, Wellington Centre Gallery group show.
As a member of the ASA Council, suggested having a NZ Women's exhibition combining historical painters with contemporary. Convened the exhibition with Jean Sampson.
NZ Women Painters 1845-1968, ASA Gallery, Auckland.
Selected as a finalist for the Benson & Hedges Art Award and Exhibition, Auckland.

1969
Moved to Onetangi on Waiheke.
Solo exhibition of drawings including a series on 'Girl' at Barry Lett Gallery. "Woman in Net Stockings" was purchased by the Auckland City Art Gallery.
Group Show at Villiers Gallery, Sydney, Australia.

1970
Paintings included in NZ display at the Expo70, Osaka, Japan. Included works by MN Day, R Angus, D Binney, J Coley, S Docking, M Eaton, R Ellis, P Hanly, R Hotere, C McCahon, Q McFarlane, T Moffit, D Peebles, M Smither, WA Sutton, P Trusttum, C Rands, G Walters, T Woollaston.
Drawings in group show, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, Australia.
Jan Nigro Drawings, (Tweed Coats), Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland. Including "Man from the City" was purchased by the National Art Gallery, Wellington.
Selected for the Benson & Hedges Art Award & Exhibition.

1971
Included in Invitation Painters at the ASA Galleries, Auckland.

1972
Contemporary NZ Painting, group exhibition, Fiji.
Group Exhibition of Drawings, Barry Lett Galleries, Auckland. Included "Stripper and Go Go Dancer", "Man & Object" and "Unrelated Objects".
Drawings, a solo exhibition, Whangarei.
Contemporary NZ Paintings, National Art Gallery, Wellington.
Invited Artists Exhibition, ASA Gallery, Auckland. Including "Tiger" 1972, and "Summer Encounter" 1972.
Reunion, Presentations, Arrivals and Departures (Anzac Series), solo exhibition, Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland.
'Anzac Series' and 'Second Verdict Series' along with other works exhibited at the Dowse Art Gallery, Lower Hutt. Also toured to the Hawkers Bay Art Gallery, Napier and the Wairapa Arts Centre.
Benson & Hedges Art Award and Exhibition.
Group Exhibition, Mollers Gallery, Auckland.

1973
Private Collectors Choice Festival, ASA Galleries, Auckland.
Invitation Group Exhibition, ASA Galleries, Auckland. Included "Man with Bouquet".
Zonta Women Painters curated by Una Platts, Auckland City Art Gallery.
Toss Woollaston watercolours, Jan Nigro drawings, Phillip Bonham prints & drawings an exhibition, Barry Lett Galleries, Auckland. Drawings from the "Haast Bridge Series" were purchased by the Auckland City Art Gallery and National Art Gallery.
Drawing Invitational, Manawatu Art Gallery, Palmerston North. Included "Summer Encounter" and "Ribbon I " and "Ribbon II".
Group Show, Mollers Gallery, Auckland.
Jan & Gerry Nigro exhibition at the Dowse Gallery, Lower Hutt, included "The Second Verdict, the Trial of Arthur Allan Thomas". Opened by Melvin Day, Director of the National Gallery. The exhibition toured the North Island. Major NZ Painters, Studio Gallery, Hamilton.

1974
Commonwealth Games Exhibition, Christchurch.
Solo exhibition of Paintings and Drawings, Holdsworth Galleries, Sydney, Australia.
Private Collectors Choice Festival, ASA Galleries, Auckland.
Invitation Group Show
, ASA Galleries, Auckland.
Playthings '74, Manawatu Art Gallery, Palmerston North.
Selected for the Benson & Hedges Art Award.

1975
Cats, Windows and City People, solo exhibition, Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland. "Sunbather" purchased by Auckland City Art Gallery.
NZ Women Painters, group exhibition, Auckland City Art Gallery. "Net Stockings" bought by the Gallery.
Invited Artists Festival, ASA Galleries, Auckland.
NZ Painting group exhibition in Noumea.
Watercolours, group show, New Vision Gallery, Auckland.
Group Show, Mollers Gallery, Auckland.
Festival Exhibition, ASA Galleries, Auckland.
Kawau Arts Society exhibition.

1976
Guest artist at the NZ Academy of Fine Arts Spring '77 Exhibition, National Art Gallery Wellington. Included "The Dog Handlers", "Ponsonby, Doorway" and "City Gentlemen".
New Zealand Drawings 1976 sponsored by the Auckland City Art Gallery, toured New Zealand. Included "Woman undressing for her Analyst".

1977
Group Show New Year, New Works, Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland.
Suzy- a documentation of a Maori Girl, solo exhibition, Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland. Also shown at the NZ Academy, Wellington.
Guest artist, Studio Gallery, Hamilton.
Summer 77 Invitational at New Vision Gallery.
Group Show, Mollers Gallery, Auckland.

1978
Group NZSSPA Show, CSA Galleries, Christchurch.
Group Show, Mollers Gallery, Auckland.
Complimentary Exhibition to Mr James Turkington, ASA, Auckland.
Auckland Festival exhibition - by invitation group of tutors, ASA, Auckland.

1979
Indoors, Outdoors, CSA Galleries, Christchurch.
The NZ Environment, Te Awamutu Festival.
Contemporary NZ Realist Painting, Auckland City Art Gallery. Included "Summer Days", 1977.
Spring 1979 Exhibition at NZ Academy of Fine Arts, National Museum.
Figurative Artists '79, Peter Webb Gallery, Auckland.
Group Show, Mollers Gallery, Auckland.

1980
Works Achieved or Conceived, for Auckland Festival '80, Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland.

1981
Te Awamutu Arts Festival.
NZSSPA Works on Paper, ASA Galleries, Auckland.
Amnesty, New Vision Gallery, Auckland.
Images of Men, Outreach Gallery, Auckland.
Invited Women Painters, Outreach Gallery, Auckland.

1982
Solo exhibition Life in the Colonies, '20s & '30s, Galerie Legard, Wellington.
Circus, Mining & Pioneer Series, a retrospective of early works, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.
Auckland Festival Exhibition, New Vision Gallery, Auckland.
Women on Women, Outreach Gallery, Auckland.
Artichoke - open storage exhibition, Auckland City Art Gallery.
New Zealand Drawing - 1982, organised by the Dunedin Public Art Gallery; toured New Zealand by QEII Arts Council.

1983
Parrots & People - drawings & paintings, solo exhibition, Galerie Legard, Wellington.
Artists of the '40s & '50s, group exhibition, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.
Drawings in Various Media, group exhibition, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.

1984
1975 Revisited, solo exhibition, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.
Down Under '82-'84, solo exhibition, New Vision Gallery, Auckland.
A Group Show & A Challenge, New Vision Gallery, Auckland.
Working Drawings NZSSPA, RKS Galleries, Auckland.
Lifeworks, group exhibition, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.
60 From '84, group exhibition, NZ Academy of Fine Arts, National Gallery, Wellington.

1985
Drawings
, ASA Galleries, Auckland.

1986
Guest Artist for Group Exhibition, Hawke's Bay Art Gallery & Museum, Napier.
Commission of a mural for the Oneroa Post Office, Waiheke Island.
Judge for the Montana Lindauer Art Award, Gisborne.

1987
Works on Paper, solo exhibition, Rotorua Museum of Art & History.
Apple for the Teacher, solo exhibition, Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

1988
Mr Aislabie's Gardens, solo exhibition at Treebeard Art Gallery, Auckland.

1989
NZ Artists' Works on Paper, The Mezzanine Gallery, Brisbane, Australia. Included 'Love Girls'.
Gave a seminar on 'Life and Work' at the Women Artists Association of Queensland.

1990
From the Nude, solo exhibition, John Leech Gallery, Auckland. Also shown at Tinakori Gallery, Wellington.

1991
Spring Catalogue Exhibition, John Leech Gallery, Auckland, included "The Lotus Eaters".
From the Realistic to the Abstract, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.
Jan Nigro, Jeffrey Harris, JS Parker, Art Line Gallery, Auckland.

1992
The Emergence of the Modern, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.
Retrospective & On Journeys, solo exhibition, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.
A Point of View - A selection of works by art specialists & friends, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.
The Nude, Canterbury Society of Arts, Christchurch.

1993
The Queen of Love, and other works, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.
The Toy in Art, group exhibition, Warwick Henderson Gallery, Auckland.
On Journeys, solo exhibition, Whangarei Art Gallery.
On Journeys, solo exhibition, Dobson & Bashford, Christchurch also shown Tinakori Gallery, Wellington.
Land Form, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.
To Aids, group exhibition, Chiaroscuro Gallery, Auckland.
Modern Myth, Chiaroscuro Gallery, Auckland.
Women paint the land, group exhibition, Lopdell House Gallery, Auckland.
On the Library Circuit, group exhibition, organised for the Auckland Suffrage Year; toured the libraries of Auckland.
Centennial Suffrage Year, group exhibition, Judith Anderson Gallery, Auckland.
The Group, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.
Awarded the MBE for Services to the Arts.

1994
We're Still Here - A Celebration of Achievement, Milford Galleries, Dunedin.
The New Zealanders, Warwick Henderson Gallery, Auckland, included "The Temptation of Eve".

1995
Autumn 95, group exhibition, Jonathan Grant Galleries, Auckland.
Portrait of an Artist, group exhibition, organised by Warwick Henderson Gallery, Auckland, art work auctioned at a function held at Government House.
Bodies of Work, group exhibition, Drawings Gallery, Auckland.
Artists Celebrate St Matthew's in the City, group exhibition, St Mathews, Auckland.
Kiaora Paora - Paul Gauguin in Aotearoa/NZ, RKS Gallery, Auckland. Curated by John Perry, Director of the Rotorua Museum of Art.
Carousel Nudes, solo exhibition, John Leech Gallery, Auckland.
The Figure in Retrospective, solo exhibition, Tinakori Gallery, Wellington.

1996
Apple for the Teacher, retrospective exhibition and book launch for Jan Nigro's autobiography, Jonathan Grant Galleries, Auckland.
Ports of Auckland, a group exhibition initiated by Jan Nigro, The Basement, Artis Gallery, Auckland.

1998
Guys & Dolls, Jonathan Grant Galleries, Auckland.
Major Auckland Artists, group exhibition, The Pumphouse, Auckland.
Jan Nigro a selective survey 1937-1998, Hawke's Bay Exhibition Centre, Hastings.
Paintings by Jan Nigro, Statements Gallery, Napier.
10 plus 10, group exhibition, Warwick Henderson Gallery, Auckland.

1999
Beyond Beauty, group exhibition, Peters Muir Petford Gallery, Auckland.
Catalogue Exhibition, group exhibition, Warwick Henderson Gallery, Auckland.
Large Works, group exhibition, Warwick Henderson Gallery, Auckland.
Nudes and Natures Moods, Muka Gallery, Auckland.

2000
Finalist in the Inaugural Art Waikato National Art Award, Waikato Society of Arts, Hamilton.
Summer Encounter - 25 years on Waiheke Island, Waiheke Community Art Gallery, Waiheke Island.
The Body Owned - The Nude, group exhibition, Peters Muir Petford Gallery, Auckland.
Fine Art Catalogue, 2000. Warwick Henderson Gallery, Auckland.
Annual Exhibition, Mobile Art, Auckland.
Gala Fine Art Auction, Warwick Henderson Gallery, Auckland.

2000-2001
Mudpool Modernism - Modernism & Tourism in Rotorua, group exhibition, Rotorua Museum of Art & History.

2001
ExPat - group show, Hastings Community Art Centre.
A Portrait of Jan Nigro, New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Wellington.
Visions - Beginning the Contemporary in New Zealand Art, Auckland Art Gallery.
12 North Northshore City Artists, NorthArt, Northcote, Auckland.

2002
A Portrait of Jan Nigro, Rotorua Museum of Art and History.
Aspects of Alice, 40 George Street, Auckland.

2003
Aspects of Alice, New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Wellington.
On the Beach - paintings from the 1960s-present, NorthArt, Auckland.                      
Still Life - Group Exhibition, 40 George Street, Auckland.
Aspects of Alice, New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Wellington.
At the Beach, NorthArt, Auckland
Remains, Wreaths and Legacies - Anzac Stories, Whangarei Art Museum.
Six in One, 40 George Street, Auckland.
The Big Red, Rotorua Museum of Art & History, Rotorua.

2003/04           
Self and Other: The Expressionist Spirit in New Zealand Art
, group exhibition, curated by Ron Brownson, Auckland Art Gallery.

2004
II
– a group exhibition, 40 George Street, Auckland.
Drawings ’04, group exhibition. North Art, Northcote, Auckland.
Sad Movies Make Me Cry, 40 George Street, Auckland.
Works on Paper, group show, 40 George Street, Auckland.
4 Cheers for 2005, group show, 40 George Street, Auckland.

2005
The launch of a Dilana Rug by Jan Nigro, 40 George Street, Auckland.
Recollections 1985-1995, 40 George Street, Auckland.

2006
Nudes and Butterflies, new Dilana Rug.
Wetware
- Group Show, Artstation, Auckland.
Drawn to it...Group Show, 40 George Street, Auckland.
Tiki Tour: Celebrating the emblematic koru and te hei tiki, Group exhibition, Whangarei Art Museum, Whangarei.

2007
Cultivating Nature, group show 40 George Street, Auckland.
Changing Perceptions 1970-2007, solo show 40 George Street, Auckland.
The Summer Season Group Show, 40 George Street, Auckland.

2008
Denis O'Connor and Friends, Waiheke Community Art Gallery.    

2010
Selection 010 - 011, group show, Jane Sanders Art Agent, Auckland
Spring Catalogue - group show, Paul Nache Gallery, Gisborne.
Encounters and Journeys: a survey 1950s - 2010, Jane Sanders Art Agent, Auckland.
Aspects of Alice - Revisited. Jane Sanders Art Agent, Auckland.
Life in Colour - Jan Nigro, Waiheke Art Gallery.

2011
Lady Chatterley's Lover, Jane Sanders, Art Agent. Auckland.

2011/2012
Lady Chatterley's Lover, Whangarei Art Museum, Whangarei.

2012
Selection 6 - The Artist's Selection, Jane Sanders Art Agent, Auckland.

An inspiring woman and a life well lived.
Read Ron Brownson's tribute to Jan Nigro



PRIVATE COLLECTIONS

Fletcher Challenge Collection, Auckland.
Brierley Investments Limited, Wellington.
James Wallace Charitable Trust, Auckland.
Harold Mertz Collection, USA.
Robert Melville Collection, UK.

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.
Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington.
Auckland Art Gallery.
Manawatu Art Gallery, Palmerston North.
Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton.
Hawke's Bay Cultural Trust, Napier.
Rotorua Museum of Art and History.
Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt.
Dunedin Public Art Gallery.
Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Christchurch.
Queen Mary's College, University of London.
University of Auckland.
Victoria University, Wellington.
Massey University, Palmerston North.







Head of a Girl. 1937.
Reproduced on the cover of
"The Arts in New Zealand", Dec 1944.




Two Youths, drawn at Karapiro, c1945.
Ink on paper, 260 x 200 mm





North Wind, 1949
Oil on board, 59.4 x 44 cm
Placed fifth in the Dunlop Prize, 1950.




The Red Hat,1949
Oil on board, 54.6 x 44.4 cm
Collection of the Auckland Art Gallery.




Morning, 1949
Oil on canvas, 54 x 42 cm
Allan R. Henderson Bequest,
National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.




The Entertainers, 1949
Oil on board, 90 x 76.8 cm
Private Collection


Jan Nigro, 1950




Disintegration of the Pioneers, 1964
Resin and oil on board, 80 x 59.3 cm
Private Collection.




High Dive
, 1966
Oil on canvas, 121 x 80.5 cm
Exhibited 1967.
Private Collection.




Man from the City
, 1971
Oil and acrylic on canvas, 76.2 x 91.4 cm
Te Papa, Tongarewa - Museum of New Zealand.




The Victim, 1971
Pencil on paper, 25.5 x 38 cm
Exhibited - Barry Lett Galleries.




The Sunbather
, 1973
Oil on canvas, 81 x 101.5 cm.
Collection of the Auckland City Art Gallery.




The Dog Handlers
, 1982
Oil on canvas, 102 x 118 cm.
Collection of the Fletcher Challenge Trust.




Suzy Leaves the Land, 1977.
Mixed media on paper, 520 x 710 mm
Collection of the Hawke's Bay Cultural Trust, Napier.





Suzy and the City, 1977
Mixed media on paper, 71 x 52 cm




Oneroa Post Office Mural, Waiheke Island.
Three panels were commissioned by NZ Post in 1986




Working on the journey series
Photograph by Rob Love
for Style Magazine, No. 11, 1992.



A suite of oils on paper exhibited in
Recollections 1985-1995, Auckland.





Cover for Jan Nigro's Autobiography,
based on the painting of the same name
Apple for the Teacher. Title also used for an
exhibition at the Dunedin Public Gallery in 1987.




Symbols and Textures, 1996
from the Ports of Auckland series.
Oil on canvas and collage, 84 x 107 cm


Guys and Dolls 1998
Oil on canvas, 84.5 x 113 cm



Grey Shift 1999
Oil on paper, 71 x 60 cm
Exhibited Nudes and Natures Moods



Alice through Doors
, 2002.
Oil on canvas, 71 x 109 cm.
Exhibited Aspects of Alice.



Are you jealous?
, 2004.
Oil on canvas, 35 x 55 cm
Exhibited in Sad Movies Make me Cry





Balancing Climatic Change 2009
Inks and acrylics on paper, 50.7 x 40.5 cm


Renaissance 2011
Oil and collage on paper, 55.5 x 67 cm
Exhibited: Lady Chatterley's Lover



Sandy reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover
ca 1980/2011 Ink on paper.


Whangarei Art Museum, 2012.