Auckland 1940, Auckland,New Zealand
to London and was accepted for full time study in painting at St
Martins School of art in London where he received stimulation from
such lecturers as Anthony Caro, Philip King, Frank Auerbach, John
Latham, Eduoard Paolozzi, Bernard Cohen, Elizabeth Frink, Leon
completing The National Diploma of Fine Art was selected for
postgraduate study. During his study at St Martins won their third
year painting prize.
1967 was appointed Lecturer in Painting and Design at
Middlesbrough College of Art for two years.
exhibited widely and was represented in the 1966 eight N.Z.
artists show in New Zealand House London as well as a selected
show of New Zealand artists in London at Qantas Gallery. He
travelled extensively through Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, and
East European countries before immigrating to Canada.
Canada addressed workshops at Sir George William University and
worked as a graphic designer and Display artist. He travelled
extensively by car in the United States spending sometime in
Mexico before returning to New Zealand in 1971.
appointed Lecturer at the Auckland Institute of Technology in
is now lecturing part-time as Senior lecturer at the Auckland
University of Technology.
work has been exhibited widely in N.Z. in group shows, one- man
shows and is in private collections. He has exhibited overseas in
such places as Sweden, Italy, Canada, Venice, London, Canada and
has returned many times to U.K. travelling to South Africa,
Israel, Greece, Italy, Japan, South America, China and Asia.
exposure to many countries and cultures has been a great influence
on his work, which because it draws from so many sources, has
attained a universal quality. His work does not have that overtly
New Zealand flavour yet Robinson says that although his work does
not contain any familiar N.Z. icons, it still has a New
Zealandness about it that he can recognize as being distinct from
Australian and particularly from British or European art. This he
feels t is the same for most contemporary N.Z. art.
optimism of the sixties offered Robinson all the encouragement to
explore art rather than just painting pictures or merely being
self-expressive which he feels can be a hindrance to good
exploration over the years is manifest in some very inventive
paintings exploring sculptural, spatial and painterly concerns as
well as his use of multi printmaking techniques as work in
themselves and as a form of inspiration for paintings.
at Robinson’s work over the years one can see cases where he
seems to have isolated aspects to explore over a period of time
then changes direction to explore what could be seen as an
opposite direction. A few years later he produced paintings that
combine the two different poles into work, which now would have
those conflicting emotions within the same work but working
dynamically to form a satisfactory sense of order.
basic structure of his work is intellectual but the paintings have
a unique balance of intuition and intellect that stops them from
being too predictable. Even in the earlier “Drop Series” work
that on the surface seem pre-planned they are infact a result of
intuitive decisions made as the work developed. In effect, he
addresses the issue; can merely the sum of form, colour, and
design give the work integrity of its own, and provide value and
relevance for the viewer.
Robinson, communication implies that one has something to say and
wants to communicate that understanding to others but he does not
use this in his work. He grapples with the problem of making
abstract work that is more than simply decorative and yet does not
have an explicit metaphorical quality. He uses the word communion
that demands the full participation of the viewer and total
commitment from the artist. A product of inner intensity, the work
makes no attempt to woo the fashion conscious. For him radicalism
usually means just being Avante –Guard, which in fact is just an
attitude representing the status quo.
gives each work a personality that is much more than its basic
qualities of shape and colour. Robinson’s command of the variety
of techniques is emphasized by the combination of printing and
collage within the paintings. The wit and experience of the artist
shows in the way he takes a single form and energizes it in ways
both elaborate and simple and in a variety of media.
exposing the accepted practices of ‘Art’. Robinson finds it
necessary to take a step back and to look at just what art means
to the artist and to the viewer. His working process is to
construct and corrupt, removing the work [and himself] from any
literally art historical context. Although the work might be about
time passing he doesn’t want to be trapped by any time frame.
Robinson is not just an expressive painter he is in fact a
dedicated analyst of form. Moving beyond the action and immediate
expression. Control and intellect and emotive energy remain the
primary ingredients in his art.
want that sense of order or controlled effect of all the
individual marks and their relationships with other marks and
shapes. It is the sensual reading of those marks and the overall
effect that interest me. I participate in the creative process
simply to understand something about myself and the world around
exploring the way we see things we can discover something about