Mark Cross - Video

Mark Cross has the ability to transform a garbage dump or a junkyard into a mystical scenario, with a rare beauty and poetry that is deeply unique. His compositions are loaded with movement and balance, everything adds to turn that sensation into something more evident, from the placement of the figures to the patterns that constitute themselves, and with mastery, he combines positive and negative spaces, fostering a complementary and harmonic dynamic.

The works conceived by Cross detain an unusual level of detail and minutiae, as he seems to be able to paint every single grain of sand with mastery and patience. Furthermore, on a surface that would be relatively uniform, Cross is able to nurture it with an extremely varied and chromatic coloration; using a multitude of waves and zig-zags, he creates a dynamic movement which forms new abstract shapes of great aesthetic and pictorial value. Extremely rich compositions are then born, under an intricate pattern made of textures and colours.

The use of space, deployed in contrast to the figure, reduces the latter’s importance by relying on vastness, or ends up projecting its feelings to infinity. The lines of force and the action are both effectively projected.

Cross approaches themes with a profound meaning, he does it naturally, implicitly, where different concepts float with great naturalness. There are some themes which he revisits again and again: environmental concerns , the relationship of the individual with his surroundings, the desire for freedom and the feminine beauty and purity. Cross’s work is an extensive tribute to life, in all of its forms, through which he does not only shed light on his concerns, but also on human relations, the warm and the will to live.

By Pedro Boaventura • Excerpt from Masters of Painting - Volume 1

Born in New Zealand in 1955, Mark Cross started producing art during his childhood. After studying as an engineer, at the age of 23 he moved with his young family to his wife's village, Liku, on the island of Niue and it was during these early years that a strong philosophic and stylistic foundation was established for his career as an artist. Due to this continued isolation, Cross has worked on the 'periphery', of the traditional art industry.

Cross has developed a reputation as one of the South Pacific's leading contemporary realist painters and now divides his time between studios in Niue and New Zealand while travelling and exhibiting elsewhere. His paintings over time have emerged from extended immersion in a small, isolated, water-bound, natural environment into a universal vision that questions the foibles of Mankind.

Elements of the New Zealand and Niue environment became the atmospheric stages for these allegorical communications although more recently he has employed similarly unique landscapes from around the world. In their ethereal, visionary way, the works warn of the dire ecological imperatives that face both a small island and a planet.

Mark Cross has achieved through his work a uniqueness that avoids the trappings of provincialism, so often associated with realism, and replaces it with an acutely perceptive worldview.

The artist has also supported art production in his community with the establishment of a sculpture park in the rain forest in the east of Niue. Besides painting, photography, sculpture, installation, video and writing are included in the artist's oeuvre.

Paintings by Mark are to be found in public, private and corporate collections in Australasia, Asia, America, the Middle East and Europe.
Solo Exhibitions:

• 2013 Sienna Palette, Pierre Peetwers Gallery

• 2012 Works in Transit, Pierre Peeters Gallery

• 2005 Sheep Country, Real Gallery Auckland

• 2004 Heta: Power and Fragility. Photographs, SOCA gallery Auckland

• 2004 Heta: Power and Fragility. Photographs, Whangarei Art Museum

• 2004 Wide Island. Paintings of Central Otago, Milford Gallery, Dunedin

• 2003 Recent Works, John Leech Gallery Auckland

• 2002 Have We Offended Te Manawa, Museum and Art Gallery, Cook islands National Museum, Cook Is

• 1998 Haleiwa Gallery, Hawaii

• 1997 Woodcuts, John Leech Gallery, Auckland

• 1996 Premier Gallery, Hawaii

• 1995 Life Stills, John Leech Gallery, Auckland

• 1994 Canterbury Society of Arts, Christchurch, XPO Exhibitions/John Leech Gallery, Auckland

• 1993 Anomalies, John Leech Gallery, Auckland

• 1991 John Leech Gallery, Auckland

• 1989 Auckland Society of Arts, Auckland

• 1989 North Gallery, Whangarei

• 1989 Baycourt Cultural Centre, Tauranga

• 1988 Canterbury Society of Arts, Christchurch, Huanaki Cultural Centre, Niue

• 1987 QEII Arts Council Funded touring exhibition, NSA Whangarei

• 1987 ASA Auckland

• 1987 WSA Hamilton

• 1985 Molesworth Gallery Wellington

Group Exhibitions:

• 2011 Form, Space, Tone, Pierre Peeters Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

• 2010 International group shows with Gallerie Ivo Kamm, Zurich and Minima Gallery, Mykonos

• 2005 Invitation Lightbox Exhibition: (Foreshore Archive) SOCA Gallery

• 2005 Invitational Screen Exhibition: (Six Days and the Pacific) SOCA Gallery

• 2003 Exiles in Paradise With Mahiriki Tangaroa, Beachcomber Gallery, Rarotonga

• 2002 Tulana Mahu Installation, Cook Island National Museum

• 2001Tulana Mahu Installation, Manawatu Museum and Art Gallery, NZ

• 2000 Tulana Mahu Installation, Sydney Olympic Arts Festival, Australia

• 1999-2000 Tulana Mahu Installation, Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery, Australia

• 1996 Nukututaha: Art From Niue, The Lane Gallery Auckland

• 1996 Landscapes, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

• 1995 Drawings; Joint exhibition with John Pule, The Lane Gallery, Auckland

• 1993-1994 Real Vision, Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Chrischurch

• 1993 Portray Portrait; Morgan le Fay Gallery, Auckland

• 1992 Joint exhibition/book launch, Blue Angle Gallery Auckland

• 1990 NZ Realists, Charlotte H Galleries, Auckland

• 1989 NZ Artists, Mezzanine Gallery, Brisbane

• 1986 Denis Cohn Gallery, Auckland

• 1986 ASA Gallery, Auckland

• 1984 Molesworth Gallery, Wellington
• 2006 Winner of the Auckland section of the travelling Coexistence exhibition originated in Jerusalem

1991 Merit Award, Birkenhead Trust Art Award

1990 Winner of the Central King Country Visual Arts Trust Award

1989 Winner of the Waitakere Licensing Trust Art Award

1987 QEII Arts Council, New Artist Promotion Scheme

1987 Winner of the Bledisloe Medal for Landscape1985 Finalist, Team MacMillan Ford Art Award

1984 Finalist, Team MacMillan Ford Art Award

1983 Winner of the Polynesian Airlines Short Story Award
• 2002 Introduction to Mark Cross Have We Offended

2000 "The Hyper-Decentralisation and Dissolving of Art Frameworks" Australia Pacific History Conference Online Contribution. National Museum of Australia

1999 Tahiono Art Collective; The Paradox of Isolation

1999 Australia Art Monthly

1993 Liku and the New Hiapo of John Pule, Art New Zealand Magazine

1983 Time on this Island, Tusitala Magazine
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