Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd (b. Hamilton, Aotearoa New Zealand) one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most distinguished contemporary artists. Shepherd spent his early years in Ngaaruaawahia and this youthful proximity to the sites of pivotal events in New Zealand’s nineteenth-century history fuelled a decades-long fascination with the complexities of the colonial era and its legacies. Shepherd graduated with a Diploma of Fine Arts (Honours) from Elam, the School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland (1979) and in 1982 he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Arts Council travel grant, which he used to study 17th century Dutch painting materials and techniques in Amsterdam. Since then, has been producing intricate, painterly works, often in series, that engage history and memory, forging connections between present and past. Shepherd has exhibited throughout New Zealand since his first solo show at the Denis Cohn Gallery, Auckland, in 1980. Most recently, the major survey exhibition of his work Michael Shepherd: Reinventing History Painting, was developed by the Waikato Museum, curated by Elizabeth Rankin (2019). Further recent exhibitions include; Te Ahi Ka Roa, Te Ahi Katoro, Taranaki War 1860–2010: our legacy — our challenge, Puke Ariki, New Plymouth, (2010), SCORE (Upon the electronic works of Douglas Lilburn), Auckland (2009), Land Wars part 2: build, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Manukau City (2008).  Traveller to an Antique Land – an aspect of war in North Africa, Army Museum, Waiouru (2007).  Michael Shepherd The Early Years 1975-1931, The Sarjeant Gallery, Wanganui (2005), Small World Big Town: Contemporary Art from Te Papa, City Gallery, Wellington (2005), Bright Paradise: Exotic history and sublime artifice, 1st Auckland Triennial, Auckland City Art Gallery (2001). His work is held in all major collections throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.