Milford Galleries Dunedin

Karl Maughan


Mount Mera (2013) Belleknowes (2013) Loveday Avenue (2011) Riverena (2010) Piripiri (2007)
Previous exhibitions below
Karl Maughan has been painting gardens since the mid-1980s and this accomplished concentration on subject has made him a nationally and internationally recognised and recognisable New Zealand artist. Maughan has been exhibiting with Milford Galleries Dunedin since 1993.

"Karl Maughan’s fascination with gardens has come through his wish to explore light and colour. Photographing his chosen gardens in differing lights, Maughan records as much detail as possible. In the studio he then collages selected elements into new composite images. Applying paint in small areas of the canvas to avoid premature drying, he pieces the work together like a mosaic. Rather than blending colours, he uses clean colours side by side, this ‘alla prima’ (wet onto wet) technique was popular with the Impressionists." (1)

"With most of these paintings we are drawn into the work, impelled to walk towards the painting as though into an actual garden. However, as one gets closer into the vista one discovers you are actually entering a painting... Up close these works are like impressionist paintings, a combination of gestural marks, pointillism, and the white of the canvas which gives the work its shimmering light." (2) “Details dissolve into an abstract flourish of rhythmically applied paint. The paint is really more important than the garden, but not entirely so.” (3)

After ten years in London, Maughan returned to New Zealand in 2005 and now resides in Wellington. In 1997 he was a finalist in the John Moore Painting Award. (This award, whose previous winners include David Hockney, is regarded as one of the two premier art awards in Britain, the other being the Turner Painting prize.) His work is held in public and private collections in New Zealand and the UK.

In 1998 Maughan came to the attention of British arts benefactor Charles Saatchi who has subsequently purchased several works. Maughan was included in the Saatchi Gallery, London exhibitions The Neurotic Realism in 1998 and I’m a Camera in 2001. Also in 1998 he was offered the opportunity to install a major six panel work A Clear Day in the Habitat store in Chelsea, London. This work was bought by Te Papa in 2000.

Born in Wellington in 1964, Maughan earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, in 1986. He completed one year of a Master of Fine Arts in 1987, and has exhibited regularly since then.

1. Natalie Poland, Manawatu Art Gallery information sheet, April 1998
2. John Daly-Peoples, "Karl Maughan's Garden's of Delight in Dunedin", NBR, March 2010
3. TJ McNamara, "Small seas and giant gardens", NZ Herald, 8 April 2002

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