• Campbell Patterson

Notions is a solo presentation of paintings by Tāmaki Makaurau based artist Campbell Patterson. Accumulative brushstrokes produce painted surfaces, ones which bear the traces of repeated instances of revisitation and revision. Many of these artworks are the result of a task-based approach to painting, one that is also testament to the sometimes reluctant passage of time.

In selected works, looping, continuous lines are formed from reserves, or sinuous areas which have been left unpainted. The application of layers of oil paint is dictated by numbers taken from units of time, for example 12 or 24 hours in a day, or seven days in a week. Clocks, diaries and calendars provide parameters for building up painted surfaces as part of an idiosyncratic, yet rules-based approach. This deliberately slow and painstaking method of painting was designed by the artist to expend maximum labour, extending over multiple days and across many different moods and states of mind. Some were even painted with a broken arm.

Patterson proposes art-making as a pre-text or alibi, it is merely one of the possible ways one might expend time or even attempt to make it quicken. The painted surfaces presented to viewers map prior acts of labour, exertion, boredom, repetition and extended duration. Time that is measured and time that slips away...

ends for leaving / ends for staying, a sound composition by Patterson extends his concerns with temporality. The piece punctuates the silence of the gallery with a playlist of selected endings from random songs, sudden interruptions that operate like one-liner jokes tossed out with insouciance, only to crash and burn.

This is Patterson’s eighth solo exhibition at Michael Lett.

Campbell Patterson (b. 1983) creates works in an interchangeable array of media that evoke the mundane, repetitive, but frequently sublime aspects of everyday living and suburban experience. In his video work, Patterson often transforms his body into an absurd domestic tool, such as in the ongoing series Lifting my mother for as long as I can (2006– ). Particularly through the use of repetition, Patterson invokes the conceptual tradition of mid-twentieth century through figures like Stanley Brouwn and On Kawara—transplanted into the contexts of domestic Aotearoa environments.

Patterson graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland in 2006. His work has been included in: GROUP PORTRAIT, Phillida Reid 10–16 Grape Street, London (2023); the body and its outside, Michael Lett, Auckland (2021); Contact Us, Cement Fondu, Sydney (2020); Performance Portraits, Auckland City Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (2016); Art as a verb, Artspace, Sydney (2015) and the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2010). Significant solo exhibitions include: toot floor, Hocken Collections Uare Taoka o Hākena, Dunedin (2018), the Pah Homestead, Auckland (2019) call sick, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2017) and Honky Tonkin’, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Auckland (2015).

Recently Patterson has undertaken residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California and at Gasworks, London in the United Kingdom. In 2017 Patterson was awarded the Frances Hodgkins fellowship and in 2015 he conducted a Parehuia Artists’ Residency at McCahon House, Titirangi.

Opening Hours

  • Wednesday–Friday 11am–5pm
  • Saturday 11am–3pm


  • 312 Karangahape Road
  • Corner East Street and Karangahape Road
  • Auckland 1010