lives and works
Auckland, New Zealand
BFA, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, 1990
MFA, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, 2000
about the artist
Michael Parekowhai has manufactured sculptures and photographs that find humor in quoting modern and contemporary art history and satire in invoking customs past and present. Unearthing the extraordinary that can be found even the ordinary, polishing the expected so that it becomes entirely unexpected, the artist refuses to be complacent whether in his re-presentation of known symbols and accepted modes or in his status as rising star of the international art world. He employs a range of strategies to surprise, subvert, and sabotage the final products all anchored in their common role as reagents of intellectual engagement and simple learning. Parekowhai was selected to represent New Zealand at the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale in 2011. He has staged numerous solo exhibitions at venues throughout New Zealand and abroad, including at the Museum of Modern Art in Ostend, Belgium, and the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh, USA. His conceptual art has been included in group shows held at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein in Berlin, which traveled to the City Gallery Kiel in Kiel and Lütze Museum City Gallery Sindelfingen in Sindelfingen, Germany; the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia; the Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, Poland; the Asia Society in New York, USA; and the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki in Auckland, New Zealand. His large bronze Canaan was also included in the inaugural exhibition of Roundabout held at the City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand in 2010.