Photograph: Billy Apple

New Zealand-born Antoinette Godkin has spent the better part of her career representing top European artists in some of London’s premier galleries. Originally studying at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland, she left New Zealand in the 60s after being accepted by both St. Martin’s School of Art, London, and Camberwell School of Art, London. After studying at Camberwell School of Art, London Antoinette Godkin began her career as the Director of Axiom Gallery, London, representing such artists as Malcolm Morley, the first winner of the Turner Prize. She also organised a precedent-setting studio show for the British sculptor Nigel Hall this being the first curated show at an artist’s studio held in London’s East End.

Throughout the 1970s she was the Director of Felicity Samuel Gallery, London, representing such artists as Mark Boyle, Susan Rothenberg, Agnes Martin, Vija Celmins and Ed Ruscha. During this time Antoinette Godkin curated the first retrospective show of Boyd Webb at the Auckland City Art Gallery, as well as a show of British artist Mark Boyle’s work which toured the United States, opening at the Seattle Art Museum and closing at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Francisco.

Approached by the New Zealand High Commission in 1973 she curated Six New Zealand Artists, an exhibition of expatriate New Zealand artists which was shown at New Zealand House, London. The exhibition featured the work of Boyd Webb, Darcy Lange, John Panting, Terry Powell, Kenneth Griffiths and Steve Furlonger. It subsequently had a QEII Council-sponsored tour of New Zealand, starting at the Auckland City Art Gallery. Antoinette Godkin was also commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia to form a collection of European a  rt, for which she acquired works by Gerhard Richter, Gilbert & George, Richard Long, Mario Merz, Howard Hodgkin and Bernd & Hilda Becher, among others.

During the 1980s Antoinette Godkin worked at Knoedler/Kasmin Gallery representing such artists as David Hockney, Anthony Caro, Frank Stella, Gillian Ayres, Helen Frankenthaler and Sam Francis. She curated a show of British artist Tim Head’s work at alternative space Vanilla Studio, contributed to ASB Bank’s commission of a sculpture by British artist Richard Deacon and was also commissioned by the Architectural Association to organise an exhibition of the work of Carl Plackman & Carolyne Kardia at its headquarters in Bedford Square, London.

In the 1990s she worked at Fischer Fine Arts, London,  representing among others Henry Moore, and where she curated the exhibition Work from the Wiener Werkstatte including works by Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser. She returned to New Zealand in 1992 to open Vavasour Godkin Gallery in 1994 with Mary Vavasour.

In 2009 Antoinette Godkin Gallery opened its doors with Miranda Parkes’ exhibition Pearler. The gallery continues to pursue its dedication to the encouragement of young, vital artistic talent in New Zealand.


At home with Antoinette Godkin : Sunday Star Times Issue 14/10/2018