Michael Parekowhai

ABOUT MICHAEL PAREKOWHAI

“From the very beginning of his career, Parekowhai has been making artworks with direct reference to the known. By re-presenting an everyday item in a different medium, with altered scale and title, he jolts viewers into questioning its accepted identity and traditional use. When his starting point is an existing work of art, he draws its art historical reference into a new context where its significance is re-examined. His intention is to create thought provoking artworks that challenge the boundaries of viewers’ comfort zones.

While still at art school, Parekowhai’s works positioned him in the ongoing debate that simmers in the international arena of art and between cultures, that of appropriation and ownership of images. His first such work was a homage to Marcel Duchamp’s 1913 The Bicycle Wheel, which instigated the debate over ‘readymade art’. Parekowhai created his own copy of the wheel, carving it with intricate craftsmanship from wood, the traditional medium of his paternal forebears. The indivudually crafted wheel was so finely finished as to appear manufactured, a reversal of the implication in Duchamp’s work.

Parekowhai has worked in many media, including cast metal, powder-coated steel, mannequins, photography and taxidermy. Whether reinterpreting a McCahon painting in huge three-dimension, enlarging Gordon Walters’s 1968 ‘koru’ painting into a steel sculpture, or challenging preconceptions with a meticulously dressed Maori mannequin named Hori, he is always daring the viewer to examine and perhaps reconsider established opinions.”

Extracts from:
Elizabeth Caughey & John Gow, Contemporary New Zealand Art 3 (David Bateman, 2002), pp. 92-94.

Michael Parekowhai was born in Porirua, in 1968. He is of Maori (Nga Ariki / Ngati Whakarongo) and Pakeha descent.

Parekowhai currently holds the position of Associate Professor in Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland.

EDUCATION

1990
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland

1991
Diploma of Teaching, Auckland College of Education

1998-2000
Master of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2011
On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer, New Zealand Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

2009
The Moment of Cubism, Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland
Seldom is Herd, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Yes We Are, One Day Sculpture, Wellington

2008
Jim McMurtry, Maori Hall / Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland

2007
The Song of the Frog, Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland
My Sister, My Self, Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland
Liste Art Fair, Michael Lett Gallery stand, Basel, Switzerland
Cosmo McMurtry, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Jim McMurtry, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, Christchurch

2006
Eerst me Fiets (First My Bike), Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney Australia
The Big O.E., Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington

2005
Driving Mr Albert, Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland
Rainbow Servant Dreaming, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, Australia

2004
The Consolation of Philosophy: piko nei te matenga, Govett Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth
Selected Worked 1989 – 1994, Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland

2003
Kapa Haka, Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland

2002
Michael Parekowhai, Gow Langsford Gallery, Sydney, Australia
All There is / The Consolation of Philosophy: piko nei te matenga, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

2001
Patriot: Ten Guitars, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, USA
The Consolation of Philosophy: piko nei te matenga, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

2000
The Beverly Hills Gun Club, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
The Beverly Hills Gun Club / True Action Adventures of the Twentieth Century, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

1999 – 2000
Patriot: Ten Guitars, touring exhibition (Artspace, Auckland; Beyond the Future: The Third Asia-Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; City Gallery, Wellington; Govett Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth; Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin)
Kitset Cultures, Djamu Gallery, The Australian Museum, Sydney Australia

1998
Recent Paintings, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

1997
Recent Paintings, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, and City Gallery, Wellington

1994
Kiss the Baby Goodbye, Govett Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, and Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton
A Capella, Gregory Flint Gallery, Auckland

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2009
Jim McMurtry, Planet Festival, Ontario, Canada, and The New Dowse, Lower Hutt

2008
Dateline, City Gallery, Kiel, Germany, and City Gallery, Sindelfingen, Germany

2007
Love Chief, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
Dateline, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany
Hei konei mai: We’ll Meet Again, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
Reboot, The Jim Barr and Mary Barr Collection, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch
Picturing Eden, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, California, USA, and University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

2006
Toi Te Papa Art of the Nation, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington
Reboot, The Jim Barr and Mary Barr Collection, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin
Asia-Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
Beaufort Inside, PMMK, Museum of Modern Art, Ostend, Belgium
Beaufort Triennial 2006, Belgium Coast Line, Ostend, Belgium
Hei konei mai: We’ll Meet Again, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
The Armory, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery stand, New York, USA
Phoenix, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland
Picturing Eden, George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, New York, USA
Random Access, McClelland Gallery + Sculpture Park, Langwarrin, Victoria, Australia
High Tide: Currents in Contemporary New Zealand & Australian Art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland, and Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania

2005
Letters to the Ancestors, Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton
Commodity & Delight: Views of Home, Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui
The Kori Club, Pakata Museum and Art Gallery, Porirua
Small Town, Big World: Contemporary Art from Te Papa, City Gallery, Wellington
Te Hei Tiki, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
High Chair, St Pauls St Gallery, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland
Remember New Zealand, Artspace, Auckland
Te Moananui a Kiwa, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland

2004
Remember New Zealand, Sao Paulo Biennale, San Paula, Brazil
A Grain of Dust, A Drop of Water, Gwangju Biennale, South Korea
Earthly Delighst, George Perry Gallery, Tauranga
The Suter, Nelson
IKI and thanks for all the IKA, Artspace, Auckland
State of Art, George Perry Gallery, Tauranga
In Flower, Pataka Museum and Art Gallery, Porirua
Animals in Art, North Art, Auckland
35K, Artspace, Auckland
Urban Legends, Bartley Nees Gallery, Wellington
Paradise Now? Asia-Pacific Society, New York, USA

2003
Judy Darragh and Michael Parekowhai, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
Traffic: Crossing Currents in Indigenous Photomedia, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, Australia
Pacific Harbours, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
9 Lives, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
Indians and Cowboys, Gallery 4A, Sydney, Australia, and Canberra Artspace, Canberra, Australia
Thompson, Frank, Paterson, Gimblett, Parekowhai, Gow Langsford Gallery, Sydney, Australia

2002
Chartwell Collection: Recent Acquisitions, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
(The World May Be) Fantastic, Biennale of Sydney 2002, Sydney, Australia
Katharina Grosse, Melinda Harper, Michael Parekowhai, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

2001
Good Work, The Jim Barr and Mary Barr Collection, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, and City Gallery, Wellington
Purangiaho: Seeing Clearly, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
Techno Maori, City Gallery, Wellington
Multistylus Programme: Recent Chartwell Acquisitions, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
Bright Paradise: the 1st Auckland Triennial, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
Prospect 2001, City Gallery, Wellington
Let There be Light, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Language Matters, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington
The Numbers Game, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington
Noumea Biennial, Tibaou, Centre, Noumea, New Caledonia
Old Worlds/New Worlds, Art Museum of Missoula, Montana, USA
Flight Patterns, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA
Simpson Grierson Season: Works from the Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland

1999
Home and Away, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
Taonga Maori, Artstation, Auckland
The Promoter, Auckland
Who do I Think I am, Artspace, Auckland
Wonderlands: Views on Life at the End of the Century, at the End of the World, Govett Brewster Art Gallery

1998
Dream Collectors, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington

1996
The World Over / de wereld bollen: Art in the Age of Globalisation, City Gallery, Wellington, and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
“Here I give Thanks”, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin

1995
Cultural Safety, Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton; City Gallery, Wellington; Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany
The Nervous System, Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth
Korurangi, New Gallery, Auckland

1994
Art Now, National Art Gallery, Wellington
Changing Signs, Artspace, Auckland

1993
After McCahon, Cubism, Wellington
Shared Pleasures, Waikato Museum of Art and History, Hamilton
International Festival of Arts, Wellington
Stop Making Sense, Wellington City Art Gallery, Wellington

1992
Homemade Home, Wellington City Art Gallery, Wellington
Vogue/Vague, CSA Gallery, Christchurch
Hit Parade: Contemporary Art from the Paris Family COllection, Wellington City Art Gallery, Wellington
W.A.R. Whatu Aho Rua, Tandanya Gallery, Adelaide, Australia
Headlands: Thinking Through New Zealand Art, National Art Gallery, Wellington, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia

1991
Light Sensitive, Artspace, Auckland
Cross-Pollination, Artspace, Auckland

1990
Kohia ko Taikaka Anake, National Art Gallery, Wellington
Choice!, Artspace, Auckland
Light’arted, Artspace, Auckland

AWARDS

2001
Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate Award

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Arario Museum, Cheonan, Seoul, South Korea
Musee du quai Branly, Paris, France
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
The New Zealand National Library, Wellington
Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth
Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland
Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch
Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin
Jim Barr and Mary Barr Collection, Wellington
Les and Milly Paris Collection, Wellington
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington
Saatchi & Saatchi Collection, Wellington
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia