To view prices and purchase online, please login or create an account now.

Colin McCahon: Is This the Promised Land? Vol. 2 1960-1987


Main Details

Title Colin McCahon: Is This the Promised Land? Vol. 2 1960-1987
Authors and Contributors      By (Author) Peter Simpson
Physical Properties
Dimensions(mm): Height 285,Width 238
Category/GenreOckham Longlist Titles
Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction
ISBN/Barcode 9781869409081

Publishing Details

Publisher Auckland University Press
Imprint Auckland University Press
Publication Date 11 June 2020
Publication Country New Zealand


The second of an extraordinary two-volume work chronicling forty-five years of painting by our most important artist, Colin McCahon.

Colin McCahon (1919–1987) was New Zealand’s greatest twentieth-century artist. Through landscapes, biblical paintings and abstraction, the introduction of words and Māori motifs, McCahon’s work came to define a distinctly New Zealand modernist idiom. Collected and exhibited extensively in Australasia and Europe, McCahon’s work has not been assessed as a whole for thirty-five years.

In this richly illustrated two-volume work, written in an accessible style and published to coincide with the centenary of Colin McCahon’s birth, leading McCahon scholar, writer and curator Peter Simpson chronicles the evolution of McCahon’s work over the artist’s entire forty-five-year career.

Simpson has enjoyed unprecedented access to McCahon’s extensive correspondence with friends, family, dealers, patrons and others. This material enables us to begin to understand McCahon’s work as the artist himself conceived it. Each volume includes over three hundred illustrations in colour, with a generous selection of reproductions of McCahon’s work (many never previously published), plus photographs, catalogue covers, facsimiles and other illustrative material.


Author Biography

Peter Simpson is a former associate professor of English at the University of Auckland. He is the author of numerous critically acclaimed books including Colin McCahon: The Titirangi Years, 1953-1959 (AUP, 2007) and Bloomsbury South: The Arts in Christchurch 1933-1953 (AUP, 2016). He has also curated three significant exhibitions of McCahon's work. He received the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement (non-fiction) in 2017.


'Colin McCahon: There is Only One Direction. Vol 1. 1919-1959 belongs in every New Zealand home. With more than 300 illustrations, it is an alluring and profound coffee-table book. But for its real readers, it will be a wonderfully responsive and permanent triumph.' - David Herkt, Weekend Herald, 'This is an excellent, scrupulously annotated and engagingly written book ... and the perfect gift for that loner at the cocktail party nursing a drink after, even if only in jest, having said Colin McCahon was overrated.' - Graham Reid, Elsewhere