New Zealand Post Book Awards. — 24.06.10

Books featuring Milan Mrkiusich (Icon) and Marti Friedlander (Marti Friedlander Photographic Award) are amongst the finalists in the Illustrated Non-Fiction category of the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Awards

Marti Friedlander / Leonard Bell. Auckland University Press

"Marti Friedlander has been observing Kiwi lives for over 50 years. Here, Leonard Bell has selected 185 photographs representing the full breadth of her work, many published for the first time using her signature methods. As these images testify, Friedlander's commitment to sustained and attentive looking by both photographer and viewer affirms the enduring value of the still photograph as a site of thought and feeling."

Associate Professor Leonard "Len" Bell has taught Art History at The University of Auckland since his return to New Zealand in 1973. He has particular expertise in cross-cultural representation, especially in the Pacific region from the eighteenth century to the present, and the art of refugees from Nazism.

Len Bell has known Marti Friedlander since 1976 when she took a course in Art History at The University of Auckland.

Mrkusich: The Art of Transformation / Alan Wright and Edward Hanfling. Auckland University Press.

"Milan Mrkusich (b 1925) is New Zealand's leading abstract painter. In 1949, he held his first one-man show and since then has continued to push boundaries, constantly developing new forms of expression and maintaining artistic independence in a climate often hostile to abstraction. He was made an ONZM in 1997 for his services to painting and a New Zealand Arts Icon in 2003."

Alan Wright is a painter and an Honorary Research Fellow in Art History at the University of Auckland, where until recently he was a Senior Lecturer. He is particularly interested in the theoretical foundation of modernist painting in New Zealand, especially of the 1960s and 1970s, and he is an expert on the work of our leading abstractionist painter Milan Mrkusich.

Art historian Edward Hanfling is a freelance writer, curator and critic, writing often for leading art journal Art New Zealand. He has an MA and PhD in Art History from The University of Auckland; his MA thesis topic centred on Milan Mrkusich: "Ruskin on Mrkusich: Abstraction and Interrelationship". He has written essays or introductions for around a dozen exhibition related publications and regularly writes as an expert author for auction house catalogues.

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Auckland on August 27.

View full list of finalists