Peter Gouge


Never calm, always blatant…

Multi-coloured and energetic, works by Peter Gouge demonstrate a flair for bold colours and striking shapes. Strobe-like patterns made up of lightening bolts, meanders and kilim-like forms march across vivid coloured backdrops. Burnt oranges, bright purples, acid greens, silver and royal blue are make up an almost eye-watering palette. Abstractions flicker and flash with grid-like geometric forms, extended zig-zags, jagged shapes and blocks of colour. Brazen hues contrast with metallic-like and irregular shading in pale greys and white.

Ambiguously titled with acronyms that stand in for song titles, lines of poetry, initials or forgotten phrases, Gouge’s works contrast rich, high key, saturated tones with air-brush like gradients. Layered stripes and cunningly placed lines enjoy a kind of wonkiness due to the fact that the artist eschews the use of tape. Embracing irregularity, uneven or supports such as plywood, jute even carpet is painted with acrylics, oils, oil-sticks, enamel and encaustic.

Cipher-like, systems of composition appear formulaic yet also expressive. Measured grids create friction with the erratic angles and eccentric textures they appear within and upon. Full of verve, there is also a strangely decorative aspect to these works, they point towards the warp and weft of weaving, modernist textiles, even pixel-like, computer-generated images. Strata are boldly placed, located and layered to create elaborate constructions, dynamic intensities and vital forces.


Peter Gouge (Auckland, 1984) is currently based in Christchurch after returning from six years living in Florida, USA where he completed an MFA at the University of Florida.  He also has a Bachelor of Design from Unitec, Auckland. (2009) and a Masters of Design (2016). In recent years he has had solo exhibitions at The Young in Wellington (17 Paintings, 2015 and Dusted in Memphis, 2014) and Tim Melville Gallery (Never Calm, 2013).  His work has been included in the exhibitions Between Lines: Peter Gouge and Zoe Rapley, City Gallery, Wellington (2012); Five Years, Tim Melville Gallery (2012); Too Little Too Late, Snake Pit Gallery (2012); Ideas Spinning Outwards Forever, Tim Melville Gallery (2011).  In 2014 his work was shown by Hamish McKay Gallery at Spring 1883 in Melbourne and in the same year he was featured in Art Collector magazine (Australia) as an emerging artist to watch.

Selected Media.

  1. Everything Stops for the Baby
    Peter Gouge and Chloe Lane, Contemporary Hum
  2. Carpet and Plywood Paintings
    Mark Amery, Eyecontact review
  3. Debutantes: Peter Gouge
    Frances Morton, Art Collector
  4. Between Lines: Peter Gouge and Zoe Rapley
    Lily Hacking, City Gallery catalogue text


  1. Artists in Isolation: Peter Gouge
  2. Kirstin Carlin & Peter Gouge | White Rainbow | Ramp Gallery
  3. Kirstin Carlin, Kristy Gorman & Peter Gouge | Painting Programme | Wallace Trust Gallery
  4. New Gallery Artist: Peter Gouge