ES Death Row
An artist’s dying wish for hundreds of his paintings to be sold for charity is a gift that will “outlive us all”, a gallery manager says.
Eion Stevens died in September and left instructions in his will for artworks kept in a storage unit to be sold and the proceeds donated to a range of charities.
He stipulated that only 25 paintings could be sold each year, meaning his gift will last for many years and likely raise millions of dollars.
The proceeds from the first sale will go to Aviva, formerly known as Christchurch Women’s Refuge.
She said all the works Stevens left for charity have now been catalogued and valued for insurance purposes.
In November, Buddle Findlay partner Willie Palmer, who acted as solicitor for the executor of the artist’s estate, said there were over 2000 paintings and prints.
Williams said there were fewer paintings than that, but would not say how many.
“It is not thousands of works. There is a quantity of beautiful works and a quantity of unfinished works.”
Stevens exhibited his work across New Zealand from the late 1970s onwards, and his work was included in many significant collections.
He was born in Dunedin in 1952 and graduated with honours from the Otago School of Art in 1973. He attended Exeter College of Art in England in 1974 and 1975.
He lived in Port Chalmers for several years and then in Lyttelton, before moving to central Christchurch after the 2011 earthquakes.
Eion Stevens paintings have maintained a relationship of sorts with literature for many years, but it would be wrong to assume that they reveal familiar, narratives and storylines. Rather, literary sources offer a necessary anchor for images that touch upon memories or fleeting glimpses and revelations about human behaviour in paintings that acknowledge their respect and affection for Modernism and the work of artists like Picasso and Derain. Stevens graduated from the Otago School of Art and attended Exeter College of Art, London 1974 – 75. He has work in public and corporate collections, including the Christchurch Art Gallery.
12th Apr 2022 - 7th May 2022: In Praise of Eion Stevens 1952 – 2021
12th Nov 2019 - 30th Nov 2019: Philip Trusttum – David Woodings – Eion Stevens Group Show
11th Dec 2018 - 22nd Dec 2018: CHRISTMAS 18
13th Dec 2016 - 24th Dec 2016: Chambers Christmas Show
29th Mar 2016 - 16th Apr 2016: mouthpiece
28th Jul 2015 - 8th Aug 2015: Recent Paintings
09th Dec 2014 - 24th Dec 2014: Local Colour
02nd Sep 2014 - 13th Sep 2014: Spring Thing