Peter Robinson

Ashburton, New Zealand, b. 1966

Peter Robinson graduated from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1989, where he studied sculpture. Robinson, who is of Kai Tahu and Pakeha ancestry, began his career making work which engaged with the debate around biculturalism and Maori identity in New Zealand. As a person of mixed ancestry, for Robinson the question of what—or who—constitutes an “authentic” Maori identity had a personal significance; a series of ‘90s works collectively known as Percentage Paintings visually depict Robinson’s own ancestry, expressing his degree of “Maori-ness” by way of a mathematical percentage. However, like his contemporary Michael Parekowhai, Robinson strongly resisted being categorised as a “Maori artist,” or utilising traditional Maori techniques and iconography, preferring to engage with the international language of contemporary art. Robinson also adopted a detached artistic voice, which allows him to satirise both Maori and Pakeha points of view on race relations in New Zealand. More recently, in works such as Ack (2008) and Die Cuts and Derivations (2015) Robinson has produced work which engages with materials more directly, citing the influence of Post-Minimalism and Arte Povera. Robinson is an Associate Professor at Auckland University’ Elam School of Fine Arts. He represented New Zealand at the 49th Venice Biennale alongside Jacqueline Fraser in 2001, and was the recipient of the Walters Prize in 2008 for his Ack exhibition.

Essays
Auction Results

untitled

1990

acrylic on paper

1495mm x 970mm

Estimate $4,000 - $6,000

Boy Am I Scared Eh!

1997

acrylic and oilstick on paper

935mm x 670mm

Achieved $19,639.38

This Weeks Special

c. 1994

oilstick and acrylic on found crate

845mm x 1000mm x 355mm

Estimate $10,000 - $15,000

untitled

c. 1997

oilstick and acrylic on cardboard affixed to wooden palette

980mm x 1300mm x 125mm

Estimate $12,000 - $16,000