Pat Hanly

Palmerston North, New Zealand, 1932-2004

Pat Hanly was originally apprenticed as a hairdresser, taking night classes at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in Christchurch, and later attending classes at the Chelsea School of Art in London, after which he returned to New Zealand to teach at Auckland University’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 1962.

An anti-nuclear activist, environmentalist and keen sailor, his work is characterised by an exuberant and lyrical Abstract Expressionism full of colour, life and energy. This vivacity and popular appeal led to prominent public commissions including murals for Auckland Airport, The  University of Auckland School of Architecture, the  Aotea Centre, the Peace Mural on the corner of Karangahape and Ponsoby Roads in Auckland, and a mural for the Sir Miles Warren-designed Christchurch Town Hall in 1971. In other arenas his work ranged in theme from the domestic and personal, to the outspokenly political and social. Hanley’s bright and life-affirming works were well-received internationally, represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs in the Netherlands.

Auction Results

Nuclear Innocents


graphite on paper

345mm x 372mm

Achieved $2,402.50

Figure in Light


ink on paper

590mm x 460mm

Achieved $6,907.19

Winters Day 69


ink and watercolour on paper

435mm x 592mm

Achieved $8,709.06



ink on paper

545mm x 660mm

Achieved $3,904.06

Hope Vessel


watercolour and graphite on paper

540mm x 620mm

Achieved $20,125

Girl Asleep


ink monoprint and graphite on paper

500mm x 650mm

Achieved $5,705.94

Love Plate. X.


enamel on board

445mm x 440mm

Achieved $10,552.50



ink on paper

300mm x 300mm

Achieved $3,303.44

Who Am I


watercolour on paper

535mm x 380mm

Estimate $6,000 - $9,000