Shane Cotton
Black Hole
Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne
2 February – 10 March 2018

Shane Cotton is one of New Zealand’s most accomplished and celebrated artists. Of Maori (Ngati Rangi, Ngati Hine, Te Uri Taniwha) and Pakeha descent, his idiosyncratic paintings incorporate iconography from Maori and European traditions to reflect upon the unique bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Black Hole is Cotton’s most recent body of work, and demonstrates a shift in the development of his practice, deviating, if only momentarily, from the darkly atmospheric and brooding palette of his works of the last decade. In this body of work, the images of body-less heads are depicted centrally and powerfully within the painted plane, unaccompanied by elaborate backdrops, so that the mark-making appears as even more urgent, rendered more direct through its distillation.

Shane Cotton has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and internationally. Selected recent solo exhibitions include: Dirt Cache, Michael Lett, Auckland (2016); Oblique Narratives, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Sydney (2015); Baseland, Christchurch City Gallery and Ilam Campus Gallery, Christchurch (2014); The Voyage Out, Rossi and Rossi, Hong Kong (2014); The Hanging Sky, City Gallery, Wellington; Christchurch Art Gallery; Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney; and IMA, Brisbane (2012-13); and Shane Cotton Survey: 1993-2003, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki and City Gallery, Wellington (2003–04). Selected group exhibitions include: 17th Biennale of Sydney: The Beauty of Distance, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2010); Turbulence, The 3rd Auckland Triennial (2007); Nuclear Reactions, Caja de Burgos Art Centre, Burgos, Spain (2010); and Paradise Now? Contemporary Art from the Pacific, Asia Society Museum, New York (2004).