• Stephen Bram

Coinciding with the 2024 Aotearoa Art Fair, Sumer is pleased to present its latest exhibition by Naarm Melbourne-based artist Stephen Bram. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery, and it is also his first solo exhibition in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. (The artist will be in attendance for the opening and associated art fair events.)

Split across Sumer's two gallery spaces, the exhibition will present two bodies of the artist’s works previously unexhibited in Aotearoa. The first of these are Bram’s new monochromatic ‘spot’ paintings, which he has been producing over the past decade, and were first presented to Australian audiences in 2019. Evidently quite different to the angular perspectival-geometric works for which he has become best known, on first viewing these new works appear to be a radical departure for the artist; however, many of his ongoing concerns regarding abstraction and the rendering of illusionistic space are also evident here, albeit with differing cadence and effect.

The second group of work to be shown here—two smaller paintings—are very much set apart. Figurative and surreal; one is a collaborative work, produced with school friends and non-artists, Torquil Todd and David Morrison, which they started in 1981, and was only to be completed some 37 years later, in 2018. The second piece, a depiction of an interior, bares greater semblance to Bram’s well known works, yet with crudeness that is unexpected. Bram describes the works as, in the first instance, “childishly exuberant, and florid", and in the second, "rather subdued and sober"; he also proclaims both pieces to be “badly painted”.

Both bodies of work reflect an underlying change in the artist’s attitude towards their practice. Bram no longer subscribes to the notion that an artist’s oeuvre should be defined according an enquiry which is inherently iterative, singular and monolithic. Instead, now approaching the making and presenting work with greater sense of openness, he states, the only constraint that should govern an artist’s output is, “ to show that which otherwise would remain invisible”.

Stephen Bram (b. 1961, Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia) currently lives and works in Mel­bourne. Working across various modalities, primarily in paint and installation, his works have been exe­cut­ed in gal­leries and muse­ums around the world. Bram’s work (1988-present) with painting and interior space experimentally reconfigures the relationship between the work, the exhibition space and the viewer. He was one of a small group of artists involved in Store 5 in 1989, an artist-run exhi­bi­tion space in Mel­bourne which was an important centre for the development of conceptually oriented abstract paint­ing in Australia. Since 2014 the artist has also worked more subjectively, producing a series of black and white illusionistic spot paintings, amongst other activities. Bram’s works are held in pub­lic and cor­po­rate col­lec­tions includ­ing the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Syd­ney; Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art Aus­tralia, Syd­ney; Daim­ler­ Col­lec­tion, Berlin; Melbourne University, Mel­bourne; Monash Uni­ver­si­ty, Mel­bourne; Uni­ver­si­ty of Queens­land, Bris­bane; Queens­land Art Gallery/​Gallery of Mod­ern Art, Bris­bane; Roy­al Mel­bourne Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy; Nation­al Gallery of Vic­to­ria, Melbourne; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth and Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery.

Opening Hours

  • Wed-Fri: 11pm–5pm
  • Sat: 11am–3pm
  • & by appointment


  • 27 Beach Rd, Auckland CBD
  • Tāmaki Makaurau
  • Aotearoa New Zealand