Crawford House Publishing
The Frangipani is Dead Contemporary Pacific Art in New Zealand, 1985-2000

This fascinating volume is the result of five years of researching and writing about contemporary Pacific art in New Zealand. One of the interesting discoveries made by the author is that much has been written about the ‘movement’, but little said about the artists involved. In The Frangipani is Dead, Karen Stevenson explores Pacific art in New Zealand, and analyses its presence and development, looking at the social, economic and political factors that have enabled and inspired this movement. She also places the movement historically, offering a framework to understand and recognise the development of the artists involved. As such, this book traces the movement from its beginnings around 1985 to 2000 (a time when many of the artists involved had achieved recognition at home and internationally).

More than just another art-historical foray (though there are few that focus on the Pacific), this book integrates an understanding of Pacific cultural traditions, their reinterpretation in an urban and global environment, and the myriad issues this involves (such as identity, hybridity, indigeneity, migration, education, and so on). This work will have a broad readership – those interested in contemporary art, contemporary indigenous art, the Pacific, and identity/cultural politics.

The Frangipani is Dead is unique in that it looks at this artistic practice not in a formal manner, nor in the words of the artist, but from an informed point of view addressing the social realities that are familiar to indigenous populations yet unique to New Zealand.


Karen Stevenson






Approx. 200 images


Portrait; hardcover; circa 350 pages


232 x 198 mm



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