Contemporary art in Auckland

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Auckland galleries
featured on Ocula

Ocula Member Galleries are selected by a committee of respected gallerists to present only the best of contemporary art on Ocula.

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Whether you want to discover contemporary art created by established artists or by emerging talents, below you will find some of the best galleries across Auckland's vibrant art scene presenting a range of both.

Home-grown commercial galleries scattered across the city centre, have developed local and international rosters from roots in supporting New Zealand artists. Many are concentrated along the Karangahape Road (or 'K Road') art mile.

Starkwhite, spawned in 2003 as an organisation dedicated to supporting artists, represents several New Zealand artists with an international reputation such as Billy Apple, Fiona Pardington, Gordon Walters, and Martin Basher, among others. Nearby, Michael Lett's two adjacent gallery spaces, a former bank and a recently-renovated church hall, present shows by established artists from New Zealand and overseas, including Martin Creed, Julian Dashper, Kate Newby, Séraphine Pick and Gavin Hipkins.

Former London gallerist Jenny Todd's Two Rooms, in the central suburb of Newton, presents guest curated shows featuring New Zealand and international artists. Between 2006 an 2015 the gallery's hallmark studio residency programme brought international visitors including Isaac Julien, Sarah Lucas, Kevin Appel, Fiona Hall and David Shrigley.

Auckland exhibitions
featured on Ocula

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Auckland contemporary

Auckland's museums and institutions offer an exceptional and diverse arts and culture experience. Explore our selection of the best spaces to visit.

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Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki is the largest art institution in the country, and home to an extensive collection of over 150,000 specimens of New Zealand and international art. As well as hosting major international visiting shows and in-house curated exhibitions, the gallery is home the Chartwell Trust's collection of contemporary art, and also hosts the biennial Walters Prize for contemporary New Zealand art.

On nearby Shortland Street, The University of Auckland's Gus Fisher Gallery occupies the the former 1YA radio station and broadcasting studios, built in 1934. It offers socially engaged programmes and visibility to the University's extensive art collection.

Auckland is also home to various private and community-driven non-profit art spaces, such as Artspace Aotearoa, and Tautai Pacific Arts Trust on Karangahape Road, Ponsonby's crafts-oriented Objectspace, and The Arts House Trust, Pah Homestead based in the historic Pah Homestead in Hillsborough.

Farther from the city centre, institutions that serve as hubs for community engagement and presenting and preserving contemporary art include Te Tuhi in the eastern suburb of Pakuranga, Te Uru in Titirangi (at the foot of the Waitakere ranges), and the Corban Estate Arts Centre arts precinct at the heart of West Auckland.

in Ocula Magazine

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Ocula Magazine is an online platform dedicated to publishing the best in contemporary art internationally. Explore our in-depth conversations, insights, features, news stories, and photologs covering the Auckland arts scene here.

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Since its launch in 2010, Ocula Magazine has interviewed some of Auckland's most significant artists including Max Gimblett, Seung Yul Oh, Simon Denny and Queer- arts collective FAFSWAG. Ocula Magazine has also published features of artists such as Reuben Patterson, Colin McCahon, Billy Apple, and Grace Wright.

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Ocula Advisory
on Auckland

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Gain in-depth insights into the art market with Ocula Advisory, our service for collectors wishing to build and manage their collections.

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Led by Ocula's founder Simon Fisher, Ocula Advisory assists new and established collectors in growing and managing their collections.

With 40+ years of combined experience and extensive relationships with galleries, auction houses, art dealers, and collectors, Ocula Advisory has exceptional knowledge of modern and contemporary art, as well as market trends.

Follow Advisory Picks, Perspectives, and Selections for must-see art in Auckland.

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Artists on show
in Auckland

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In any given week, you can see the works of some of the world's most exciting artists in Auckland. Here you will find a selection of artists whose works are currently on show in the city.

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Sign up to My Ocula to follow artists and galleries, save artworks to your favourites, and be informed when new exhibitions and features are published.

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in Auckland

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Browse artworks available from Aucklan galleries on Ocula.

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Sign up to My Ocula to follow artists and galleries, save artworks to your favourites, and be informed when new artworks become available.

The Tangler and the Trees by Denis O'Connor contemporary artwork ceramics
Denis O'Connor The Tangler and the Trees, 2022 Dominoes, glaze tests, pigmented carved waxed Welsh slate
25.5 x 21 cm
Two Rooms Request Price & Availability
Fast Summer, January, 1984 by Ian Scott contemporary artwork painting
Ian Scott Fast Summer, January, 1984, 1984 Acrylic on canvas
73.5 x 228 cm
Michael Lett Request Price & Availability
How Tears Work by Zina Swanson contemporary artwork sculpture
Zina Swanson How Tears Work, 2023 Glass, lacquered stainless steel, white bronze, powder-coated aluminium, artist's eyelashes
160 x 16 x 8 cm
Sumer Request Price & Availability
Tennessee bicycle dealers waffles+machine WARZONE GUIDE by Petra Cortright contemporary artwork print
Petra Cortright Tennessee bicycle dealers" waffles+machine WARZONE GUIDE, 2022 Digital painting on Belgian linen
111.76 x 111.76 x 3.17 cm
Starkwhite Request Price & Availability
Res Publica by Michael Shepherd contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Michael Shepherd Res Publica, 2021 Acrylic on board
75 x 90 cm
Two Rooms Request Price & Availability
Caught by Zina Swanson contemporary artwork painting
Zina Swanson Caught, 2023 Acrylic on canvas
65 x 65 cm
Sumer Request Price & Availability
half heart II by Campbell Patterson contemporary artwork painting
Campbell Patterson half heart II, 2023 Oil on canvas
100 x 75 cm
Michael Lett Request Price & Availability
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With an urban population of just over one and a half million, and one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, Auckland has a range of galleries and art institutions pitched to different communities.

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Located downtown next to Albert Park is the city's premier institution, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, a European-style art museum that opened in 1888. It has several leading collections of contemporary and historic works—local, national, and international—and presents The Walters Prize every two years, the country's main contemporary art award.

Other significant Council-funded institutions like Te Tuhi in Pakuranga, Te Uru in Titirangi, Artspace Aotearoa and Audio Foundation in Karangahape Rd, and Objectspace in Ponsonby focus more specifically on innovative contemporary art, sonic art and experimental music, design and craft. Artspace Aotearoa and Te Tuhi, in particular, have seasoned and perceptive art directors from overseas, Remco de Blaaij (Netherlands) and Gabriela Salgado (Argentina), who clearly maintain their long-distance connections.

Two university galleries of note in the inner city are the newly revamped Gus Fisher (University of Auckland) and ST Paul St (AUT). Both present national and international programmes, but ST Paul St is especially focused on Pasifika and Māori culture and art with a socially and globally transformative agenda.

There are at least two dozen commercial galleries in Auckland, a few in the inner city, and many along the Karangahape Rd 'art mile.' Two Rooms in Putiki St presents an interesting mixture of photography, works on paper, sculpture and painting. Documentary photography and domestic-sized—but innovative—painting are proprietor Jenny Todd's trademarks, her time running a gallery in London perhaps influencing her programme. Her selection of New Zealand (say, Mark Adams, Joyce Campbell, Julia Morison), Australian (John Nixon), British (Sarah Lucas, David Shrigley, Basil Beattie), Dutch (Jan van der Ploeg) and German (Joachim Bandau) artists is a distinctive combination.

Michael Lett and Andrew Thomas's converted bank in East St—with a walk-in safe turned into a basement gallery, wonderfully 'archaeological' mosaic floors, and ornate ceilings—is easily the most intriguing gallery in the city. The Lett Gallery's New Zealand and international art, mostly comprising of installation or performance, is conspicuously 'edgy'. Martin Creed, Simon Denny, Dan Arps, Jim Allen, Kate Newby and Jacqueline Fraser are good examples.

As an architectural contrast, Starkwhite on Karangahape Rd presents art in a converted strip club that has a spectacular staircase connecting an elegant large downstairs space to an array of smaller galleries upstairs. Directors John McCormack and Dominic Feuch's line up of mainly Australian and New Zealand artists include contemporary conceptualists The Estate of L. Budd and Billy Apple, photographers Fiona Pardington and Gavin Hipkins, video and performance artists Grant Stevens and Alicia Frankovich, and historic figures Gordon Walters and Len Lye, among others.

With such a diverse and complex art community overall, Auckland's art experience opportunities are abundant for those with the necessary enthusiasm and energy.

Michael Lett, 3 East St
3 East Street
Auckland Current Exhibition:Imogen Taylor
18 August–7 October 2023
Michael Lett, Karangahape Rd
312 Karangahape Road
Auckland Current Exhibition:Ian Scott
Asymmetrical Chevrons
13 September–14 October 2023
94 Newton Road
Auckland Current Exhibition:Curated by Jonny Niesche
1–30 September 2023
27 Beach Road
Auckland Central
Auckland Current Exhibition:Zina Swanson
Watering Shadows
14 September–21 October 2023
Two Rooms
16 Putiki Street
Auckland Current Exhibition:Jude Rae
24 August–30 September 2023
189 Ponsonby Road
Anna Miles Gallery
10/30 Upper Queen Street
Artis Gallery
280 Parnell Road
Coastal Signs
90 Anzac Ave
Ground Floor
FHE Galleries
221 Ponsonby Road,
Fox Jensen McCrory
10 Putiki Street
Grey Lynn
Gow Langsford Gallery
Kitchener Street,
Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets
Ivan Anthony
564 Great North Road
Grey Lynn
Melanie Roger Gallery
444 Karangahape Road
Auckland CBD
Paper Anniversary
454 Karangahape Road
Auckland CBD
Sanderson Contemporary
Osborne Lane
2 Kent St
Scott Lawrie Gallery
Shed 10, 13 Coles Avenue
Mount Eden
6 Lower Albert Street
Commercial Bay
Tim Melville Gallery
4 Winchester Street
Trish Clark Gallery
142 Great North Road
Grey Lynn
Whitespace Contemporary Art
12 Crummer Rd
Artspace Aotearoa
292 Karangahape Road
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets
Corban Estate Arts Centre
2 Mount Lebanon Lane
Gus Fisher Gallery
Level Four, The Kenneth Myers Centre
74 Shortland Street
McCahon House
67 Otitori Bay Road
French Bay
Te Tuhi
13 Reeves Road
Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery
420 Titirangi Road
The Arts House Trust, Pah Homestead
Pah Homestead
72 Hillsborough Road
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