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b. 1949, New Zealand

Mark Adams Biography

Mark Adams is one of New Zealand’s foremost documentary photographers. His work on Samoan Tattau, Maori-Pakeha interactions in and around Rotorua, and the documentation of Cook’s landing sites reflect his engagement with our postcolonial Pacific history.

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“His work is an engagement with the deep artful, bloody and inextricably complicated histories of colonialism in the Pacific”. Nicholas Thomas, in Cook’s Sites

Mark Adams travels to the places where Cook landed in the South Pacific, instilling a haunting sense of presence to these sites, Adams photographically commemorates the instant of encounter, defining it as a moment of discovery, violence and mutual reciprocity. For this series Mark also focuses on key historic sites illustrated by painters William Hodges and John Webber who accompanied Cook on his voyages. His portrayal allows us to look out from these paintings and reassess the history of these culturally loaded locations. As Adams has often said, he likes to invert the colonial gaze, highlighting the complications of representation.

Mark Adams' Land of Memories series is also concerned with the layers of meaning inscribed into the landscape by our culture. Taken with signature long exposures, they appear painterly and ghostly, emphasising the temporal nature of the images and the fluidity of meaning associated with these places.

His works have been shown at in the Auckland City Gallery, Te Papa-Museum of New Zealand, The Brisbane Museum, The Adam Gallery Wellington, Sydney Museum, Zelda Cheatle Gallery London, The National Library Canberra, Sao Paolo Biennale 1997 and many other major museums.

Exhibition view: Mark Adams, Hinemihi – Te Hokinga – The Return, Two Rooms, Auckland (24 July–29 August 2020). Courtesy Two Rooms. 

Mark Adams Featured Artworks

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12.11.2000 Huia, Kakapo, Kiwi, Kea. The Onslow Room, Clandon Park, Surrey, England. by Mark Adams contemporary artwork
Mark Adams12.11.2000 Huia, Kakapo, Kiwi, Kea. The Onslow Room, Clandon Park, Surrey, England.Silver bromide hand print from 10 x 8 inch black and white negative
60 x 51 cm
Two Rooms Contact Gallery
12.11.2000. Hinemihi. The Onslow room. Clandon Park, Surrey, England. by Mark Adams contemporary artwork
Mark Adams12.11.2000. Hinemihi. The Onslow room. Clandon Park, Surrey, England.Silver bromide hand print from 10 x 8 inch C41 negatives
58 x 68.5 cm
Two Rooms Contact Gallery
19.2.1997. Mangungu Wesleyan Mission Hokianga. Treat Site Series. by Mark Adams contemporary artwork
Mark Adams19.2.1997. Mangungu Wesleyan Mission Hokianga. Treat Site Series., c. 1997Silver bromide photograph
20 x 24 inches
Page Galleries Contact Gallery
19. 7. 2005. At Tokatoka, Northern Wairoa River by Mark Adams contemporary artwork
Mark Adams19. 7. 2005. At Tokatoka, Northern Wairoa River, 2005Analogue fibre-based gold-toned silver bromide prints
20 x 24 inches
Page Galleries Contact Gallery
 19.5.1989. Te Ana o Hineraki-Moa Bone Cave, Opawaho-Otakaroro estuary, Redcliffs, Christchurch, by Mark Adams contemporary artwork
Mark Adams 19.5.1989. Te Ana o Hineraki-Moa Bone Cave, Opawaho-Otakaroro estuary, Redcliffs, Christchurch,, 2006Analogue fibre-based gold-toned silver bromide prints
20 x 24 inches
Page Galleries Contact Gallery

Mark Adams Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Mark Adams, Hinemihi – Te Hokinga – The Return at Two Rooms, Auckland
Open Now
24 July–29 August 2020 Mark Adams Hinemihi – Te Hokinga – The Return Two RoomsAuckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Mark Adams, Areta Wilkinson, Repatriation at Two Rooms, Auckland
Closed
20 September–20 October 2018 Mark Adams, Areta Wilkinson Repatriation Two RoomsAuckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Landscape 2017 at Page Galleries, Wellington
Closed
6–31 July 2017 Group Exhibition Landscape 2017 Page GalleriesWellington

Mark Adams Represented By

Two Rooms contemporary art gallery in Auckland, New Zealand Two Rooms Auckland

Mark Adams In Related Press

The surprising links between Brexit and Oceania art exhibition Related Press The surprising links between Brexit and Oceania art exhibition 20 October 2018, New Zealand Herald

The Telegraph described it as an "ambitious and astonishing exhibition" while Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones declared he didn't just like the art but wanted to live in the world it portrays. He also speculated that modernist masters like Picasso were more influenced by Oceanic art than we might have previously realised. The...

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