• Tony Lane
  • Philippa Blair
  • Glen Wolfgram
  • Martin Ball
  • Richard McWhannell
  • Peter James Smith
  • Kathy Barber
  • Johnny Turner
OREXART Aotearoa Art Fair

Tony Lane
Tony Lane’s work draws inspiration from art history through the ages: Byzantine altarpieces, Italian frescoes, early Renaissance landscapes, and 17th century Spanish still-life, through to 20th century New Zealand icon, Colin McCahon.

Using traditional methods and materials, Lane explores themes and concepts that occupied his predecessors for centuries: divinity, nature, the supernatural. Contained in heavy, hand-gilded frames, his gessoed and waxed panels proffer an enigmatic combination of religious motifs and everyday objects which pose a delicate balance between ritual and routine. In a review of Practical Metaphysics, Lane’s 2006 exhibition at City Gallery Wellington, Mark Amery comments: “Lane plays with the theatrical staging of the of the devotion, as if letting us in on the secrets behind the magic whilst setting off fireworks for the mind.”

Since graduating from Elam in the 1970s, Lane has held more than 100 solo exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout New Zealand, and exhibited in galleries in New York, London, Barcelona, Seville, and Gstaad. His work is represented in major public collections in New Zealand: Auckland Art Gallery, Dowse Art Museum, Dunedin Art Gallery, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Te Papa Tongarewa, Manawatu Art Gallery and in the private collections of Sir James Wallace and Dame Jenny Gibbs.

Tony Lane was born in Katikati New Zealand in 1949. He lives in Auckland.

Philippa Blair
Philippa Blair has exhibited regularly throughout her distinguished career, from early career shows in 1970’s New Zealand, to solo exhibitions in New York in the 1980s, and museum exhibitions in Los Angeles throughout the 1990s and 2000s where she also lived for twenty years. Returning to Auckland in 2014, Philippa is affected by and her practice is governed by place. Location, relocation, dislocation are themes that she continually maps and re-maps in her work, deliberately dislocating the norm to create new two and three dimensional structures.

Experimental and improvisational, her work is ironic, autobiographical, instinctive. Engagement with the world is paramount to narrowing down a description for her work. Life experience and art history connect with physiology and motion - where many worlds are conveyed through the dancing line and the high energy of her gestural layered mark making.

In 2020, Philippa was the subject of a major survey exhibition at Te Uru Contemporary Gallery, Waitakere. Her work is represented in public and private collections in New Zealand, Australia, USA, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and Malaysia.

In dedication and loving memory of John Porter, beloved husband of Philippa, and great friend to all.

Philippa Blair is represented by Orex Gallery.

Glen Wolfgram Glen Wolfgramm is an Auckland based artist of Tongan, Irish and German whakapapa. He has been part of the surge in Pacific art driven by Fatu Feu’u, John Pule and Dagmar Dyck, but he has stood apart, admired by the others while finding his own way through some twelve solo and eight group exhibitions and awards shows.

Wolfgramm is intent on drawing something from his own place, never specific, always inventing, pulling the familiar in, covering it over, almost as if the observable should be re-imagined.

His paintings can be read as multiple habitats, cities, buildings, roads, islands and seas, foliage that is familiar and yet confounding, dense paintings that hold a community of ideas together, only to see them fly apart.

The work comes about organically, owing something to Wolfgramm’s diverse histories, both artistic and cultural, but at the same time it comes through his own living history, where he is, who he is, an artist with the currents of the world flowing through him.

In 2022, Wolfgramm was the subject of a survey show at Pataka Art Museum, Porirua. Spanning two decades of practice, A’eva tokotaha he Pasifiki Solo across the Pacific’ included works from public and private collections throughout Aotearoa,

Notoriously reluctant to talk about his work, there is a wonderful video of him doing just that at his recent survey show here.

Martin Ball
Martin Ball is one of New Zealand’s foremost contemporary portrait painters. In 2008, his portrait of Neil Finn was selected by 40 of the Art Gallery of New South Wales staff, as winner of the Packing Room Prize in Australia’s prestigious Archibald Portrait Exhibition. Ball was the first New Zealand based artist selected as a finalist for the Archibald in 2005, and again in 2007.

Ball’s hyperrealist style emphasises the character and likeness of the portrait subject with meticulous precision and flair. His interpretation of the subject employs subtle pictorial elements to create the illusion of a reality which might or might not exist. Through the act of painting Ball demonstrates his exquisite technical capabilities. His use of a singular portrait theme and subject is complex and thought-provoking which engages and challenges the viewer, not only through the paintings references to the social, cultural and political themes but also to the tradition of portraiture itself.

Martin Ball was born in Auckland in 1952. His work is held in public and private collections in New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

A review of Martin’s recent exhibition, Echo, by Michael Dunn appears in Art New Zealand 179 Summer 2021.

Richard McWhannell
McWhannell’s paintings are places where drama and enigma intersect, but also places that offer great calm and beauty. His practice encompasses portraiture, landscape, allegory, surrealism and satire – sometimes simultaneously - and often includes fictional elements worthy of a Cormac McCarthy novel.

In a review of McWhannell’s 2015 exhibition, Springs and Falls, Dr Peter Simpson responds to the work by quoting Balzac’s character, Le Pere Goriot: “Great God! My brain is on fire! It’s as if there is something red-hot in my head!”

McWhannell has long been concerned portraying the collision of psychological and physical spaces. In his words he wants “to provide the viewer with an enduring image that is recognised as having some truth… of being believable and understood, despite it being set on a stage of unreality, despite its bizarreness.”

Richard McWhannell has been a painter for more than four decades. His work is represented in numerous private and public collections in NZ including Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna Waiwhetu, and in 2016, he was the subject of a major survey exhibition, In my own time, at the Wallace Arts Centre, Pah Homestead, Auckland.

Richard McWhannell was born in Akaora in 1952, and lives in Auckland.

Peter James Smith

Kathy Barber
Kathy Barber's paintings are palimpsests. Canvases are built gradually through multiple layers of transparent glazes. Their contents altered, effaced, reimagined so that the origin of the work – be it a place, a memory, a thought – remains only in traces, visible in the margins, like a shadow – an echo.

Over time, Barber has developed a distinctive suite of gestural marks and calligraphic-like forms. The artist describes her process: ‘My mark making originated in writings, repeated words became letters, became abstracted forms. Entwined with colour and light, these form a narrative, an unspoken language that resides in the fibres of the painting.’

Kathy Barber has regularly exhibited in New Zealand since 2000, and is represented in private collections throughout New Zealand, Sydney, Melbourne and London. She was a Merit Award winner in the 2018 Parkin Drawing award, and has been a finalist in national art awards including the Wallace Awards, the New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Awards, Walker and Hall Awards, and the winner of the Craigs Investment Partners Award at the Molly Morpeth Canaday Awards.

Born in 1965, Kathy Barber lives and works in Auckland.

Johnny Turner
Johnny Turner was born in 1957 in Christchurch. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Premier Award at the 2006 Manukau Vessel & Sculpture Exhibition; the New Zealand Sculpture Award 2005; finalist at the CoCA Art Awards in 2005; the Forsyth Barr Canterbury Art Award 2004; the Waikato Outdoor Sculpture Award 2003, Sculpture Feature; the Mercedes Benz Marquee Gold Medal 2003. He has exhibited throughout New Zealand and his work has been shown at The Dowse, Lower Hutt (2004 – 2006). He was also one of eleven international artists selected to create a permanent sculpture for the Hong Kong Sculpture Society, Tin Shui Wai Park, Hong Kong, 2008. He has travelled to Italy, Paris, Russia, Germany, America and Japan in pursuit of both inspiration, stone and completing commissions. His work is held in public and private collections in New Zealand and internationally.

OREXART’s founding directors Jennifer Buckley and Rex Armstrong have been showing respected artists from New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific for 33 years. Now established on Ponsonby Road in Auckland the gallery maintains anexclusive program of highly engaging work.