Gopas (b.1913, Silute, Germany) has been credited with introducing German Expressionism into New Zealand art. He emigrated to NZ in 1949 and continued to paint from the time of his arrival until shortly before his death in 1983. He studied painting at the School of Fine Arts in Kaunas, Lithuania from 1933-38. He was awarded a diploma and gold medal in 1936, graduating with the equivalent of honours (first category) in 1938. Gopas’s artistic formation was disrupted by the war and was not fully resumed until he had settled in New Zealand, where he began to re-establish himself as a painter. From 1949 to 1953 he exhibited works at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington, and in 1951 began to exhibit at the Otago Art Society. An enthusiastic and knowledgeable amateur astronomer, he shared with several of the expressionist painters a fascination with the cosmos. He expressed this, from 1964, in his galactic series of works, which feature planets, stars and nebulae. Many have richly textured surfaces, and innovative use of metallic powders in combination with PVA paints and glazes. In the 1970s his vision of the cosmos resounded with apocalyptic warnings expressed in declamatory inscriptions on his paintings.