Graduating from the University of Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts in 2012, Amanda Gruenwald has developed a striking and ambitious painting practice that does not shy away from speaking to the heart of the medium. Awarded the Gordon Harris Painting Prize and the Kate Edgar Charitable Trust Grant in her final year of study, Gruenwald is rapidly distinguishing herself as a thoughtful and formidable emerging artist. Gruenwald was given her first public gallery exposure in 2017 at the Govett-Brewster Len Lye Center in Surface Affect, with Jeena Shin and Michael Zavros.

Working at scale with colour and form, Gruenwald’s distinctive shapes collide, bleed and fray into one another. Cognisant of the great American colour field painters, Gruenwald subtly subverts their dictates and skirts around their rules, disrupting the flatness of the painting’s plane with over-painting, sometimes heavily gestural, and paint erasure, that together mediate a balance between deliberation and intuition. There is an oscillation between thickness and thinness, energy and calm that ebbs and flows over Gruenwald’s surfaces. Paintings have their own internal logic that reveals itself over the process of making.

The title of this new exhibition references ‘colour profile’ as used in our new image-saturated digital landscape. A profile is a set of information describing traits or characteristics, describing an outline of forms sometimes in relation to landscape, a contour or outline: a vertical cross section of a structure, the earth’s crust, the outline of a shape of a river valley, bodies of water registered in map form.

Gruenwald’s interplay between the meditative fields of colour in tension with the improvisational gestural nature of the mark making combine with her physicality of engagement with materials and her bodily thinking. This active/meditative process allows for great freedom of chance and experimentation at early stages of the work.

Amanda Gruenwald lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.


  • Amanda Gruenwald


  • Fri 15 Feb


  • 6:00 pm


  • 1 Bowen Avenue
  • Auckland, 1010