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Post-Object Art collection

Identifier: MSS-Archives-FA 2010/01

Scope and Contents

The collection spans the years from 1969 to 1999, with the bulk of the material from the years 1971 to 1979, and has holdings from 35 artists, groups, and events. The collection is arranged into two series: Artists and Publications.

Series 1, Artists, is arranged alphabetically and includes samples of works from key contributors to the movement such as Jim Allen, Bruce Barber, and Billy Apple, as well as samples from important events and groups including 3 Situations (1971), Bledisloe Square Art Event (1971), and Auckland City Art Circle (1983). The contributions relating to the work of Post-Object artists largely consist of slides, negatives, catalogues, artist statements, and print articles.

Series 2, Publications, contains a number of related print material; catalogues, articles and journals.


  • 1960s-1990s


Conditions Governing Access

Not restricted

Conditions Governing Use

Available for reference.

No part may be published without the written permission of the artist.

Biographical / Historical

Post-Object art was part of the New Zealand contemporary art movement during from the 1960s to the early 1980s. This movement paralleled the international emergence of conceptual art; rejecting art as a commodity by shifting away from a physical object and the production of works to be sold. Like conceptual art, post-object art attempted to bridge the gap between art and life by using art as a way to expand the understanding and critique of the human condition. Works of this movement are represented by varying formats of documentation in place of traditional art works. During the 1990s there was renewed interest in the post-object art movement which saw several artists continue to work within the same themes and mediums.

The Post-Object Art collection documents the practice of New Zealand post-object artists in the New Zealand, and international, art scene. A large number of the contributors have close relationships with Elam School of Fine Art and the wider Auckland art scene.

The Post-Object Art collection was initiated by Philip Dadson, a New Zealand musician and artist, in the late 1970s. Dadson’s intention was to produce a resource which would support the teaching of intermedia, sculpture, performance and time based art practice at Elam School of Fine Art. The collection was developed parallel to Terry Reid’s Mail Art collection (formerly known as the “Open Drawers”) which was established in the early 1970s, in fact Dadson initially collected under the name of “the Open Drawers” before establishing the Post-Object Art collection as a separate entity. The Fine Arts Library continued to add items to the collection until the late 1990s when the collection was closed. Material was solicited for the collection through direct correspondence with post-object artists inviting them to contribute.


1.9 metres (3 boxes, 1 poster folder, assorted audio-visual items)

Language of Materials



Inventory of the Post-Object Art collection
Victoria Passau
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Fine Arts Special Collections, The University of Auckland Repository

5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92019
Auckland 1142 New Zealand