Famous New Zealand artists

Art is one of the important aspects of New Zealand’s culture. It dates back in history from the traditional Maori culture to the present day contemporary artists who are making unique pieces of art. There are very many artists who focus on different types of art, but what is distinctive about the New Zealand art is the creative use of colour.

Some of the famous New Zealand artists that you should know are:

Ralphe Hotere

Hotere is a renowned artist whose work is recognized all over the world. He is known for using unusual materials and tools to create outstanding pieces. He would use things like corrugated iron and steel to make two-dimensional art. His famous work of art is the “Black Paintings” where he used simple black crosses and strips of colour. Between 1984 and 1988, he did the Black Phoenix art using what had remained from a fishing boat. His work is both deep and minimalist. He died in 2013 but his pieces still feature prominently when people talk about famous artists in New Zealand.

Peter Robinson

He is one of the artists who were at the 2001 Venice Biennale to represent New Zealand. He mostly does sculptures and his style is to contrast different forces. For instance, he would put together chaos and order, compressed and dispersed, light and heavy, bright and dark and other opposing concepts to come up with masterpieces. His work shows the use of polystyrene, steel and felt. He won the Walters prize in 2008, a prize that is considered to be the most prestigious in contemporary art in New Zealand.

Michael Parekowhai

Even though he is not known for winning many awards, Parekowhai is a big name in the world of New Zealand art. In 2011, he was featured at the Venice Biennale. His work embodies traditional Maori art with a combination of modernity. He uses photography and sculpture to create his pieces. He has been a professor of Art at Auckland University and was awarded the New Zealand Laureate Award in 2001.

Yvonne Todd

One of the evolving forms of art is photography. There are many people who are looking for ways of becoming good photographers and improving their skills. If you are one such person, you should pay close attention to the works of Yvonne Todd. What makes her photos stand out is the technique she uses to bring out life in the portraits she takes. Some of the most popular pieces are the series she did on Wall of Man in 2009 and Seahorse in 2012.

Francis Upritchard

She is famous for her colourful sculptures that have made appearances in the international art scene. She has a large collection of sculptures that capture contemporary society. Most of her work seems to border on spirituality and knowledge of self. Her notable piece is the one she did that featured in the 2009 Venice Biennale. It was titled “Save Yourself” and it was a little mummy that was surrounded by urns that were vibrating on the floor.

Colin McCahon

Colin is considered to be one of the artists who introduced modernism in New Zealand. He used his painting skills to depict nature, seas, boats, and the sky. He also used his skills to impart knowledge to so many upcoming artists when he was a lecturer at the University of Auckland. His paintings are known to be large against dark backgrounds. Until his death in 1987, he was considered to be an icon in contemporary art.

Sofia Minson

Sofia is known for drawing inspiration from traditional Maori art. She is a painter of contemporary art and has done many portraits that represent the Maori culture. Her paintings are always so detailed, and she combines realism and surrealism to come up with unique concepts. She has worked with other New Zealand artists to create award-winning pieces.

Rita Angus

Even though Angus died in 1970, her legacy as an artist lives on. She is known for portraits and landscapes that made it to the New Zealand art museums. Some of her notable pieces are her 55 self-portraits. Her style focused more on the use of oil and water colour.