For over thirty years cityscapes have been a predominant subject explored in the works of George Baloghy.
The hyper-realist technique that Baloghy employs results in the sharpening of edges, colours that are more saturated, background subjects that are depicted with a heightened clarity, all of which add to the slightly dreamy intensity that is Baloghy’s trademark realism.
A feature of Baloghy’s work is the contrast between formal composition and a subtle quirky humour, the old and the new, the heroic and the mundane.View more
Liam Barr’s 2016 exhibition ‘Avian‘ saw him move toward a more contemporary image set , offering an alternative to the historical narrative works for which he is known. ‘Avian’ is a body of work cohesive in a central theme – stripped back in terms of colour palette, geographical location and other elements that have made up his folio to date. Barr reached out to a spiritual connectedness – unrelated to religion – leaning towards a DNA coding inherent the forgotten strands of essential mankind.View more
To take the simplest elements with a minimal palette and create a series of paintings is a task that has occupied Bridget Bidwill for the past few years.
Bidwill’s reference to ‘still-life’ in her work is evident, even in the most abstract of her paintings. Divisions of the picture plane evoke interiors (tables, shelves and windows) while the colours create perspective and light. The sophisticated compositions exude a poetic resonance which subtlety makes its presence known without any hint of domineering.View more
The prevailing mood of John Blackburn’s work is investigative: he wants to know more about human nature and he continues to work with unquenchable optimism.
Blackburn’s work is about layers of experience, the interaction of memory and events. His lyrical abstract paintings of simple, strong forms in pure, unmixed colours signal Blackburn out as one of this country’s leading contemporary artists. Now in his 84th year, Blackburn is recognized as an abstract painter of originality and vision.View more
Justin Boroughs is highly renowned as a realist landscape painter.
The landscapes that he paints are familiar, however, they always present a point of difference from reality. Boroughs’ hand is highly evident in his paintings through his tight brushwork and careful application of paint. Boroughs’ works portray a heightened reality which he achieves through the use of intense colour, the effect of light and the manipulation of the subject matter.View more
Nigel Brown ONZM
Nigel Brown is one of the most important figurative artists in New Zealand today. He works from an initial concept, which is the result of reading and extensive research. Brown directly and selectively employs history, literature and politics as devices in his artworks. He also uses words in his paintings, a technique that was heavily influenced by the English poet and painter William Blake.
His work expresses fundamental spiritual and humanistic concerns common to mankind. Brown examines the varied plights of the individual and environment with an emotional, intuitive sympathy which is accurate, incisive and clothed in a vernacular of the human condition.View more
Ray Ching is considered by many to be one of the foremost wildlife painters of the twentieth century.
Ching paints with layer upon layer of almost transparent paint, moving from watercolours to oils in the early 1980s. Working from life observations as well as taxidermied specimens, each feather, beak and talon is exquisitely rendered on gessoed masonite or canvas.
Ching’s more recent works take these photorealist depictions of birds and other creatures and place them in a setting that defies the very realism for which he is known. Incorporating text, both printed and handwritten, printed comic strips, floating human figures, these paintings contain a multiplicity of stories.View more
Bronwynne Cornish is one of New Zealand’s best known ceramic artists. Cornish’s career spans over 45 years and her work is held in many public collections, including the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Dowse Art Museum, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, the Wallace Collection, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the Kobayashi Collection, Tokyo. Her central themes reflect a strong interest in place, ritual and mythology.View more
Anah Dunsheath is both a painter and a sculptor. Her large acrylic paintings are generally set in the streets of Auckland, however, other themes are present in each series, relating to popular culture. The works are edgy with strong form and bold colour, with human interaction an essential component.
Visual transformation and optical illusion are the key elements of Dunsheath’s practice. Her works feature pronounced perspective and an often paradoxical relationship between 3-dimensional space and 2-dimensional surface.View more
Preeminent sculptor, John Edgar, has always retained strong links with, and a passion for the environment. Working in stone for more than twenty years, John is a master of his craft, his technique and abilities outstanding.
With a quiet elegance John Edgar’s work sits solemnly waiting to be warmed by human contact. Edgar’s works contrast stones by inserting crosses and lines, mimicking mathematical symbols, but also working the contrasting stone down to differing levels. The degree of accuracy needed to achieve this is minute and the margin for error is negligible.View more
Utilising different mediums over his career from lithographic printing to painting in watercolours, oils and egg tempera, Foote works in the finest detail. Every medium is mastered to further his exploration of the landscape that surrounds us, as well as the beings occupying it. With subjects ranging from living beings to skeletal remains, Foote draws on the rich history of zoological illustration, depicting a variety of species with meticulous natural realism.
Foote’s central concern is the exploration of exotic and native plants, birds and insects.View more
Foreman’s work is often concerned with taking everyday mundane objects and resetting them, so they can be viewed as precious and beautiful.
Her work can be viewed in two ways, as small icon-like pieces and as a work in its entirety. The difficulty in this is to create an innate sense of balance, wherein the viewer’s eye is not pulled in any one direction, but rather “floats” across the surface picking up different aspects.
Foreman’s recent work is the residence it takes up between Taranaki and the south of France, the collision of two landscapes. Foreman has a deep connection to both landscapes, but it is the type of romantic connection born out of distance and separation.View more
Melding the inspiration of the rich diversity of European art, history and culture with her New Zealand roots and the cultures of the Pacific, Marian Fountain uses the female form, plant life and the animal kingdom, often in states of metamorphosis, to explore themes of fertility, womanhood, conflict, change and growth.View more
Roy Good was one of a group of abstract artists in New Zealand in the 1970s that rejected the more populat local subjects and styles and aspired to the difficult standards of international modernism.
Roy Good’s abstract paintings are minimalist in form, but carry a sublime painterly subtlety when viewed at close hand. Within panels of each work, the colours are intensely worked, although the surface is often pared back so that from a distance it appears smooth.
One of the first exponents of shaped canvases in New Zealand, Good has employed shaped supports since the early 1970s.View more
Aroha Gossage graduated with a Masters of Art & Design (Honours) in 2015, Auckland University of Technology. Iwi (tribe) of Ngati Wai, Ngati Ati Awa and the hapu (sub-tribe) Ngati Ruahine/Ruanui, Ngati Manuhiri.
Aroha Gossage’s paintings relate to concepts of tangata whenua (people of the land), whakapapa (genealogy) and turangawaewae (a place to stand) and are informed by cultural, historical and spiritual connections to whenua (land).View more
Hannah Kidd has quickly risen to critical acclaim with her distinctive and unique work. She is inspired by observations from her immediate surroundings and she often substitutes animals for humans in her tableaux of familiar social situations and behavior.
Kidd’s sculptures are constructed from pieces of steel and corrugated iron. Using bolt cutters, tin snips, and a mig welder, she welds them together on a scale ranging from butterflies to bulls.View more
Richard studied sculpture under Greer Twiss and Christine Hellyar at Elam School of Fine Arts and became a member of the New Zealand Medallion Group in 1999.
Mathieson has exhibited widely in New Zealand dealer and public galleries and has undertaken commissions for public spaces in Auckland, including Auckland Botanic Gardens and Orewa College. His work is also exhibited at Brick Bay Sculpture Trail.View more
Award winning artist, John McLean’s paintings have been described as pseudo-Surrealist, drawing on a rich visual vocabulary that is inspired by his early foray into landscape painting.
Within this framework McLean explores Jungian notions regarding the individual and collective unconscious, and age-old archetypes of humanity that are found in folklore, myth and traditional tales, to illuminate personality and narrative.View more
Siavash Momeny depicts everyday objects wrapped in newspaper. Though their surface is masked, the objects are clearly recognisable. A pram, bicycle and a sewing machine are some of the objects used. By covering an object such as a bicycle, it becomes universal rather than particular. The viewer sees a bicycle from their memory, not from the artist’s studio. Though disguised in newspaper, the wrapped object offers a more complex story of that point in time than the item alone.View more
JS Parker ONZM
(1944 — 14 August 2017)
Highly regarded by collectors, nationally and internationally, JS Parker is best known for his large impasto paintings within a grid format. His works are full of texture, rhythm and balance within his imposed framework. Parker worked in thick layers of paint applied with a palette knife – sweeps of paint, which he pared back to reveal hints of what lies beneath.View more
Rees’ works explore relationships between the body, the mind and the environment in which we exist. In recent years her works have depicted the human form in motion, moving toward or away from the unknown.
As with her figure works, her rich and moody landscapes have a psychological element. Each enigmatic space conjures the feeling of isolation, potential and mystery. She achieves this through a controlled and unique use of paint. Rees works on carefully primed canvases, enhancing the luminous qualities of oil paint.View more
Michael Smither has produced a vast and varied body of work over his career, translating his intimate observations of his local environments, family and friends, and objects of the everyday into works of art.
In more recent years Smither has focused on the interrelationships between art and music. As a composer and pianist, Smither has developed a unique understanding of the correlation between the world of colour and the world of sound. This led to the development of his own visual harmonic chart, which formed the basis of a series of abstract paintings.View more
Terry Stringer ONZM
Terry Stringer’s 1.83 meter high bronze sculpture, ‘Hello Summer – Goodbye Summer’, is currently on display outside ARTIS Gallery.
Terry Stringer is best known as a sculptor, having made two notable public installations: the explosive Mountain Fountain for Auckland’s Aotea Square (recently re-located to the Auckland Cathedral in Parnell) and the similarly powerful white lightening bolt in Rotorua. Most of Stringer’s work, however, is done on a smaller domestic scale, with everyday figures and objects comprising his subject matter.
Stringer’s sculptures fill space in a way that manipulates rather than occupies it, some works using methods first explored by the Cubists in the early 1900’s. Not conforming to traditional illusionistic perspective, Stringer tilts the horizontal space towards the viewer, his bronzes seeming to deny their three-dimensionality as they appear slightly squashed and crumpled at the corners. In other works he enhances the depth instead of suppressing the volume – a skillful use of perspective and shading makes a wall-mounted relief appear to have depth where actually there is very little.View more
Rick Swain seeks to portray a sense of balance, flow and tranquility in his works. Swain’s works are increasingly simple in form. He uses variations in the density of natural colour and the surface texture provided by tool marks to create visual and textural boundaries within his works.
Swain finds inspiration for his work from his natural surroundings – the effect of water on stone or sand, the human forms and emotions and also from his materials. Swain uses New Zealand kauri and bronze to create his striking pieces.View more
Considered one of New Zealand’s most pre-eminent artists, Grahame Sydney’s passion for art has remained with him since childhood.
Sydney has worked in a wide variety of media including oil, watercolour, etching and lithography. He has held numerous solo shows throughout New Zealand and his work is included in a variety of national and international collections, both public and privateView more
Marte Szirmay has had numerous solo exhibitions within New Zealand and internationally she has participated in group exhibitions in London, Budapest, Helsinki, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Sweden, Crete, Spain and Australia. She is represented in private and public collections throughout the world.
Szirmay bases her sculptural language on natural forms: shells, eggs, seed pods, fossils, bones, trees and fern fronds. For her, sculpture is a means of ‘paying homage to the organic’.View more
Rudy van der Pol
Rudy van der Pol currently works with a multitude of media, employing decoupage techniques, collage, specialised paint finishes, metallised effects and patinas, along with sculpted metal, and found objects. His work challenges our perceptions, is often humourous and ambiguous, he integrates media in unusual and exciting ways with the skill of an alchemist.
Recycled materials are often used although the context is altered giving them a new meaning. He uses wrapping and pleating as a rhythmic expression to create textural overlays on the sculptural form.View more
ARTIS Gallery is pleased to welcome Pop Art partnership ‘Weston Frizzell’, the collaborative identity of artists Otis Frizzell and Mike Weston, to our list of represented artists.
Weston Frizzell is a mixing and remixing – of identities, images, ideas, art, advertising, music, politics, and people. Although the name may deceive you, the self-titled art brand is a fusing of the creative energies (and surnames) of two separate individuals, Mike Weston and Otis Frizzell. Together they draw from a vast pool of cultural images, bringing the iconography of commerce into direct confrontation with the “high art” of New Zealand modernism to produce their own visually arresting and witty works of art.View more
Born in North Carolina, Jim Wheeler is the son of a professional forester and calls himself an ‘amateur botanist’, having studied both art and biology at university.
His continued interest in plants, how plant communities evolve and environmental issues continue to inform his sculptural practice today. Jim Wheeler’s large-scale commissions are grounded in nature and exemplify both his skill as a sculptor and his passion for environmental issues.View more
Although best known as a painter, throughout his distinguished career Mervyn Williams’ artistic practice has also encompassed design and sculpture.
Williams’ paintings are concerned with perception. The intrigue of the illusion in the works cannot be deciphered in reproduction. One must stand in front of the artworks themselves to understand the mastery of paintwork and chiaroscuro that trick the eye into seeing flat surfaces as low relief. On closer inspection, the three dimensional qualities are revealed as intricacies of paintwork which belie the flat surface of the canvas.View more
Carin Wilson’s heritage is a strong driving force behind his work. The materials he works with, the titles of his pieces and their construction are all means that he uses to illustrate his political standpoint.
The supplejack used in several of his works symbolises the feeling of entrapment of the Ngati Awa people, but it also pays respect to the skills of Wilson’s forebears to utilise the materials of their environment, which could at times be somewhat unyielding.View more
Pamela Wolfe’s current practice is focused on creating richly textured paintings of flowers over their life cycles, observing the changes that occur from bud to decay. The subtle technique in which Wolfe portrays the fragility of these specimens has been honed over many years and highlights the transient nature of beauty.
The contrast of the petals of roses and peonies against the dark and textured backgrounds from which they emerge gives an extravagant sensuality to the works and references Dutch still-life painting of the 17th century. The motif is also suggestive of the rich soil from where the delicate blossoms begin their life cycles. Wolfe enlarges the flowers to fill the picture plane and enhances the feeling of seeing these blooms from a butterfly’s perspective.View more