Michael Dell New Zealand, b. 1960

My abstract gradient paintings and drawings are really about theformlessness of light.
Michael Dell’s paintings and drawings shift between abstraction and representation. His works have been described as having an ambivalent everyday quality, equally unremarkable in lack of narrative and simplicity, as they are absorbing in stillness and otherness.

The single-image photograph has long been a source material for Dell and his paintings and drawings often mimic the analogue failures of film negatives and discarded film prints. His paintings, both abstract and landscapes, bear evident attention to the picture surface, creating a static tension between materiality, depth and subject.

Dell was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has exhibited solo shows widely within New Zealand and was selected for the touring group exhibition ‘Print and Paper’ that traveled to Kurashiki, Japan. In 2020, the Nelson public art museum The Suter Art Gallery held a solo exhibition of Dell’s recent paintings and drawings. His works are held in public art collections throughout New Zealand, including The Christchurch City Art Gallery, Waikato Museum of Art and History, The Suter Art Gallery, and in the Auckland University Art Collection. Dell is the recipient of several national art awards, most recently winning the 2019 Parkin Drawing Prize.