Michael Hight

ABOUT MICHAEL HIGHT

Michael Hight graduated B.Soc.Sc from the University of Wellington in 1982. He is a self-taught artist who has been painting since the age of 14. During the 1990s, Hight’s focus was on abstract series of work which he enjoyed for their element of chance, and the subsequent uncertainty of outcome. These series – Heartland Trinkets (1992-93), In Trust (1995) and Seven Rivers (1995) – fused images and materials found at particular places he had visited, in an attempt to reproduce a sense of those places. In ‘Four Strong Winds’ (1996), Hight wanted to create works about rivers using as his starting point Bernini’s ‘Four Rivers’ Fountain in Rome. Again, he used found materials, this time from Italy, England and France, to make ‘portraits’ of images and forms from different places there. His 1998 exhibition, Maungakakaramea, dealt with places and landmarks from his childhood days in Kawerau and Rotorua, and explored the middle line between ornamental, motif-based, non-Western art and the individualism and expressionistic tendency of western art. ‘Seven Rivers’ (1995) heralded the beginning of Hight’s interest in bee hives and consisted of abstract representations of hives using materials as diverse as wax strips, resin, raw canvas and oil paints. Since the late 1990s, he has also painted several predominantly realist series of hives set in dramatic New Zealand landscapes. His last Auckland exhibition, Omarama/Place of Light, in 2002, sold out prior to the opening. Hight’s new body of work titled, Reliquary, focuses on a variety of neglected objects that quietly occupy New Zealand’s rural landscape. As with the beehives, Hight draws our attention to man made structures which are slowly being reclaimed by the landscape. Celebrating the beauty of the overlooked and the discarded, the weathered surfaces are all exquisitely rendered in Hight’s acclaimed photorealist style.

Michael Hight was born in Stratford, New Zealand in 1961. He graduated with a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Victoria University of Wellington in 1982. Hight now lives and works in Auckland.

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016
Tongaporutu, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
Return to the Miniature Garden
, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
New Works, Milford Galleries, Dunedin

2015
The Miniature Garden, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
Michael Hight: New Paintings, Milford Galleries, Queenstown

2014
Crossing the Line, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

2013
49 Rivers, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington

2012
Recent Works, Milford Galleries, Dunedin

2011
Reliquary, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington

2010
From Waimarino to Red Jacks, John Leech Gallery, Auckland
Wakatipu, Milford Galleries, Queenstown
Recent Paintings, Millenium Art Gallery, Marlborough

2009
The Road to Erewhon, Milford Galleries, Dunedin

2008
Michael Hight, John Leech Gallery, Auckland

2007
Recent Work, Milford Galleries, Dunedin
Recent Work, Judith Anderson Gallery, Hawkes Bay

2006
Taieri, Milford Galleries, Dunedin
Manuherikia, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington
New Paintings, John Leech Gallery, Auckland

2005
New Paintings, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington

2004
Land of Milk and Honey, John Leech Gallery, Auckland
Wandering Eye, Milford Galleries, Dunedin

2002
Omarama, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

2000
Northern Landscapes, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

1999
Recent Paintings, Campbell Grant Galleries, Christchurch
Recent Paintings, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington

1998
Maungakakaramea, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Gazetter, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington

1997
Footnote, Campbell Grant Galleries, Christchurch

1996
Four Strong Winds, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington
Four Strong Winds, Gow Langsford Gallery, Wellington

1995
In Trust, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Seven Rivers, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington

1992
Heartland Trinkets, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

1990
The Quick Brown Fox, sculpture installation, Fisher Gallery Auckland
Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
33 1/3 Gallery, Wellington

1989
Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
33 1/3 Gallery, Wellington

1988
Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Jonathan Jensen Gallery, Christchurch
33 1/3 Gallery, Wellington

1987
33 1/3 Gallery, Wellington

1986
Falcon Gallery, London, England
The Foyer Gallery, London, England

1984
Words and Pictures Gallery, Auckland

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2014
Frieze, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Significant Works, Milford Galleries, Dunedin

2012
New Year, New Works, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

2010
Frieze, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

2009
Masterworks, Milford Galleries, Dunedin

2008
Drawings, Jonathan Leech Gallery, Auckland

2007
Te Turinga: Turning Point, City Gallery Wellington, Wellington

2005
The North Western Line, Corban Estate Art Centre, Auckland

2004
Landscape Show, Lopdell House, Auckland

2001
Wild Season, City Gallery Wellington, Wellington

1999
Crossed Out, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

1998
Current Abstraction, Milford House, Dunedin

1997
Visa Gold Contemporary Art Awards, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland; Wellington City Gallery, Wellington

1995
Found Objects, Outreach, Auckland

1993
Gift of the Artist, Artspace, Auckland

1992
Pacific Traces, 33 1/3 Gallery, Wellington

1989
Door, Gate, Lintel, Fisher Gallery, Auckland
Outcrop, Govett Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth

1987
Three Painters, Artspace, Auckland

COLLECTIONS

ABN AMRO Collection
The Chartwell Collection, Auckland
Colenso Collection, Wellington
Coopers and Lybrand Collection, Auckland
Fletcher Trust Collection, Auckland
James Wallace Trust Collection, Auckland
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Collection, Wellington
Pukeiti Collection, New Plymouth
Sky City Hotel and Casino Collection, Auckland

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Brown, Warwick, 100 New Zealand Paintings by 100 New Zealand Artists (Auckland: Godwit Publishing, 1995), p. 36.
Caughey, Elizabeth, and John Gow, Contemporary New Zealand Art 2 (Auckland: David Bateman, 1999), p. 66.
Green, Paula, Four Strong Winds, exhibition catalogue (Auckland: Gow Langsford Gallery, 1996).
―, Omarama, Place of Light, exhibition catalogue (Auckland: Gow Langsford Gallery, 2002).
―, “Walking in the World: Michael Hight’s Trust in Place,” Art New Zealand, no. 77 (Summer 1995-96): 77.
Knox, Elizabeth, Wandering Eye, exhibition catalogue (Dunedin: Milford Gallery, 2004).
O’Brien, Gregory, Land of Milk and Honey, exhibition catalogue (Auckland: John Leech Gallery, 2004).
O’Brien, Gregory, and Paula Green, Michael Hight: Crossing the Line (Auckland: Gow Langsford Gallery and Michael Hight, 2014).