Lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand
Grace Wright’s atmospheric paintings are all-consuming, inviting the viewer into a baroque world of tangled gestures. Markings on the canvas twist and convulse about themselves to build an anarchic structure before unravelling to moments of repose. While Wright’s gestures may be abstract, she views her paintings as representational narratives, evoking the tempestuous rhythm of the natural world, while alluding to 17th-century religious paintings.
Wright’s paintings are a reflection of her world view, her coiling brush marks echoing the ‘rhythmic, cyclical nature’ she identifies as universal forms in the natural world. Wright marries alluring, harmonious colour with visceral imagery to elevate the feminine to monumental standing. Using scale to her advantage, her paintings engulf the viewer, exuding traditionally masculine virtues of power and strength. ‘As a female body’, Wright muses, ‘I would enter a ‘transcendent’, ‘no mind’ state allowing the painting to come through me’. Gestures might then be read as an extension of her body, with their pulsating rhythm; a key methodology of Wright’s practice.
"I’m interested in the slippage between what we think we know and the felt state of the body, asking how painting might act as a stimulus to transcend the everyday experience of living. To me, these works enact a kind of ‘opening’ and through this a felt exaltation or agony by tight coiling gestures that hold a tension and release. A frozen moment of ecstasy perhaps, equally delicious as it is grotesque. The significance of the large scale allows us to become aware of the relative size of our bodies before it. In both scale and style, abstraction is ‘an ideal vehicle for something as enigmatic and subjective as the spiritual." Grace Wright, 2021
Wright graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts in 2019 and exhibits regularly across New Zealand and Australia, with recent exhibitions in Asia.
2018 – 2019 Masters of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland
2011 – 2014 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours), Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland
Download Curriculum Vitae
2022 This is 2022, Yavuz Gallery, Singapore
Melbourne Art Fair with Gallery 9, Sydney, Australia
2021 Making it All Seem Real, Gallery 9, Sydney, Australia
Auckland Art Fair, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
2019 HEARTFELT, Gallery 9, Sydney, Australia
You And Your Resolve, The Vivian, Matakana, New Zealand
Still No Answer: Contemporary Women Artists From Australia & New Zealand, The Vivian, Matakana, New Zealand
2018 Twisted Logic, Parlour Projects, Hastings, New Zealand
2017 Breathing Room, Parlour Projects, Hastings, New Zealand
Afternoon Delight (with Aiko Robinson), PG Gallery 192, Christchurch, New Zealand