Most of the big international exhibitions to visit New Zealand in recent memory have come courtesy of Te Papa, so it's nice for those of us north of Taupo to have one nearby for a change.
Auckland Art Gallery's Degas to Dali exhibition is a great collection of works spanning from the early impressionists through surrealism to the bright pop art of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
While the collection as a whole, loaned from the National Galleries of Scotland, leaned more toward the impressionist era, that's not to say there's not something to satisfy everyone.
Highlights included Vincent van Gogh's Olive Trees (1889), The Joy of Life (1936) by Max Ernst and Magritte's The Black Flag (1937).
Then, of course, there's Roy Lichtenstein's In the Car (1963). The sheer size of this work, with its easily visible Ben-day dots and bright colour made me feel as though I could be swallowed by it whole. Having long been an admirer of Lichtenstein, it felt a huge honour to see this work in real life.
It was also a thrill to see Gustave Courbet's The Wave (c1869). Not only had I studied this work in great detail at university, it's also one of those stand-out pieces that's inspired many a homage over the years. Its detail and texture were mesmerising.
And as if that wasn't enough, the gallery's recent renovations made it oh-so-easy to wander out of Degas to Dali and into its neighbouring exhibitions, including Toi Aotearoa, the gallery's resident collection of New Zealand works.
From Charles Frederick Goldie's photographic quality to McCahon's religious symbols to the koru of Gordon Walters, this exhibition is essential viewing for anyone interested in New Zealand art.
Due to high visitor numbers, Auckland Art Gallery announced this week that it will extend the Degas to Dali finishing date to June 17, giving people an extra week to view this extraordinary show.