Greg O'Brien publishes on painter Melvin Day

From Standing Room Only, 1:50 pm on 1 December 2019

Three years after his death, a new book offers for the first time a comprehensive look at the life, work and legacy of  painter Melvin Day - also known as Pat.

Encompassing seven prolific decades of art into a book proved a challenge for the five writers who tell Pat's story and discuss his paintings and contribution to New Zealand's art history as an artist, art historian and director of the National Art Gallery for a turbulent decade.

Melvin Day is well known for his early cubist works but the fact is he tried many different styles over the years, from abstract and still life to landscapes and portraits.

Co-editor Greg O'Brien is also one of the essayists in the book, and Lynn Freeman asked him why they argue that his work has been overlooked. Melvin Day: Artist has been published by Victoria University Press and Waikato Museum, who Day bequeathed 60 of his paintings too.