Michael Greaves


“In painting, I am interested in the difference between making something, and encountering something, and how these two kinds of expressions correlate and offer new ways of thinking about objects in painting.”

Michael Greaves is a painter of puzzling interaction, renegotiating topics that reoccur within the mediums history and utilizing both the document and the monument as a transfer protocol.

He has an interest in the idea of objects and things, as presented by Gertrude Stein, Peter Schwenger and Bill Brown, and in the writing of Cormack McCarthy, primarily his novel The Road, an interest in how objects present themselves as useful, in the physical world, and then how they change when their use is irrelevant or somehow broken. Greaves’ practice presents a register of painting as a thing.

Greaves’ painting also operates as migrant object, with its origin in another place outside of our understanding, that is until it becomes useful in some way, or presented as some-thing. In his most recent collection of paintings he is responding to a growing vocabulary of things that are reoccurring in his practice, both unsure, and sure. This provides him a basis for thinking and acting simultaneously and for allowing for a variety of unimagined or proposed entanglements with the image, and with the act of painting to operate.

In short, Greaves is asking questions of what drives humans to make objects that do not serve a functional role, and how then can these objects present as a conduit between the physical and metaphysical worlds.

Michael Greaves (b. 1976) currently lives and works in Dunedin where he graduated from The Dunedin School of Art at Otago Polytechnic in 2017 with a Masters of Fine Art (Distinction). He has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has work held in the James Wallace Arts Trust, the Otago Polytechnic Collection among numerous private collections in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, the USA and Europe. Recent work by Greaves has been exhibited in Berlin, Melbourne, Auckland and Dunedin. 

Selected Media.

  1. We are not Strong Enough for Rivers and Stars
    catalogue publication