Artists John Walsh

John Walsh

b. 1954, Aotearoa New Zealand
Lives in Wellington

The work of John Walsh (Te Aitanga a Hauiti/Irish) has been described as “surreal images of intriguing figures…a cast of creatures who look only part human appear in transit between this world and the next.  Their means of transport is a floating futuristic helix with underworld tones while the characters… play out the dramas of life, love and lore.” (Ngahiraka Mason, Purangiaho: Seeing Clearly, exhibition catalogue, Auckland Art Gallery, 2001, p.35)

Born in Tolaga Bay in New Zealand’s North Island, John Walsh spent much of his early days in the Gisborne region before travelling to Christchurch where he attended Ilam School of Fine Arts at Canterbury University between 1973 and 1974.  He later returned to the East Coast where he specialised in portraiture.  From the mid 70’s he worked on Marae restoration and related art projects before taking up teaching and curatorial positions. 

Over the course of his career, Walsh has built a strong reputation as one of Aotearoa's leading contemporary painters.  Significant exhibitions include the survey Matakite, Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua, 2016; Flying Solo, The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, 2009; Purangiaho – Seeing Clearly, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, 2001 and Parihaka – the Art of Passive Resistance, City Gallery, Wellington, 2001. In 2015 Walsh was selected to travel to Gallipoli alongside other Australasian artists, to produce work for the touring exhibition Your friend the Enemy. His works are included in numerous collections nationally and internationally, including Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, the Wallace Arts Trust and the Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Noumea.

Gow Langsford Gallery has represented John Walsh since 2001.

John Walsh

selected exhibitions

Download Curriculum Vitae

2021 The Dark and the Light, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

2020 Uawa Tolaga Bay, Page Galleries, Wellington

2019 Mercurial, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Papatuanuku and Us, Page Galleries, Wellington
John Walsh: A Portrait of Ūawa Tolaga Bay He Whakaahua o Ūawa, New Zealand Portrait Gallery, Wellington

2018 John Walsh, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington

2017 John Walsh, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland 

2016 Matakite, Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua City

2015 Gallipoli, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

2013 John Walsh, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

2012 I Can't Stop Loving You, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland 

2009 New Paintings, John Leech Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
Flying Solo - Paintings by John Walsh, James Wallace Arts Trust Gallery, TheNewDowse, Lower Hutt

2008 Thoughts on Antarctica, Janne Land Art Gallery, Wellington

2007 John Walsh, John Leech Gallery, Auckland

2006 Storyboard for a New Zealand Movie, John Leech Gallery, Auckland

2005 John Walsh, John Leech Gallery, Auckland

2004 John Walsh, John Leech Gallery, Auckland

2003 John Walsh, Gow Langsford Gallery, Sydney

2002 Orokohanga - Genesis, Pataka, Porirua and John Leech Gallery, Auckland

2001 New Works, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington and John Leech Gallery, Auckland
Recent works, Verve Café gallery, 121 Gladstone Rd, Gisborne

2000 New Works & Nanny Mango originals, Archill Gallery, Auckland