Mark Braunias

BFA University of Canterbury 1988

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

Recent Work Bath Street Gallery, Auckland
2007 Visual Bank Tauranga Art Gallery, Tauranga
No more gurus Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

2006 Uncle Albert Ramp Gallery, Hamilton
The Shrink Peter McLeavey Gallery
Congo/Sly-grogger Southland Museum and Art Gallery, Invecargill

2005 Congo Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

2004 Rats and Lemons Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin
My new art god Lopdell House, Auckland

2003 Recent Work Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
A day in my life Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington

2002 First-time caller Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin

2001 Soft Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington
Good Shit Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

1999 The Dibbloes Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington

1998 Mumsy Gregory Flint Gallery, Auckland

1997 Fagas Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
Gank Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington

1996 New Work Gregory Flint Gallery, Auckland

1995 Paintings Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington
Gash Stock Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
Recent Paintings Gregory Flint Gallery

1994 Young Anzacs Jonathan Jensen Gallery, Christchurch
New Work Gregory Flint Gallery, Auckland

1993 Praha Jonathan Jensen Gallery, Christchurch

1992 Debutantes Artis Gallery, Auckland

1991 Praha Malostrnksa Besada Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic

1990 Emblems of Identity Star Art Gallery, Auckland
Emblems of Identity Last Decade Gallery, Wellington

1989 Black Paintings Jonathan Jensen Gallery, Christchurch

1988 Paintings Jonathan Jensen Gallery, Christchurch

Selected Group Exhibitions:

Art School 125 Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch
21 Years of Tylee Cottage Sarjeant Gallery, Wanganui
Visible/Invisible: Art works from the University of Auckland’s art collection Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland
Policy decals for new habits High Street Project, Christchurch
World gone Worly Rm103 Gallery, Auckland

Heavy Breathers Show Gallery, Wellington
Some works on paper by Mark Braunias and Peter Robinson Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington
True Love Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin
2001 The Cartoon Show Auckland Public Art Gallery, Auckland
Adrift Conical Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne
Critics Choice Te Papa Wellington
1998 Gruesome McDougall Art Annex, Christchurch
The Photograph Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington

Aftermath McDougall Art Annex Christchurch
A very peculiar practice City Art Gallery, Wellington
New Zealand Art Seen Manawatu Art Gallery Palmerston North
Situation and Style Jonathan Jensen Gallery, Christchurch

Awards and Residencies:

1992 James Wallace Art Award

2002 Artsit-in-residency Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin

2005 William Hodges Fellowship, Southland Museum and Art Gallery, Invercargill

2007 Tylee Cottage Residency, Sarjeant Gallery, Wanganui


Sarjeant Gallery, Wanganui
Christchurch Art Gallery
Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Southland Museum and Art Gallery
Tauranga Art Gallery
James Wallace Arts Trust
Fletcher Challenge
Private Collections in New Zealand and Overseas

Accessed from
From 1984-1987, Braunias attended Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury. He was awarded the James Wallace Art Award in 1992.
From his earliest paintings, Mark Braunias has explored not only how we perceive, but also the mechanisms through which we perceive. In his ‘Emblems of Identity’ series (1988-1993), he observed New Zealand society and explored aspects of its national identity, using themes such as rugby (in particular the All Blacks), various well-known national identities, the traditional debutante presentation ceremony, and war brides. The characters he portrayed, while recognisable as being from our communities, were presented as generic identities.
Many had black bands painted across their eyes, or featureless faces, causing anonymity to force objective viewing. ‘Identity’ itself became the subject of the works, enabling viewers to consider these generic roles vicariously. The debutantes, with their obscured faces, were seen as if through lenses, perhaps of binoculars, cameras or magnifying glass. Always there was the sense that they were being observed by ‘the other’, by the rest of society as it watched this rather bizarre ritual of presentation that belongs to another time.
This feeling of looking or watching has been a strong element in Braunias’s work, and one that he has developed throughout different series since the late 1980s. In his ‘Goofy Abstract Paintings’ of 1994-2001, he explored the lens itself in such a way that it appeared to observe the viewer, rather than being used by the viewer to observe. His forms became increasingly abstract, and were often made up of multiple A4-sized components.
Through his single-minded exploration of form and line, Braunias has developed an extensive repertoire of distinctive forms, some cartoon-like, some abstract, which he continues to present in works made up of multiple A4 panels. Irony and humour are always just below the surface in much of his output. In essence, Braunias is a process artist in that each body of work presents ideas for the following series. This normally occurs on a yearly basis. His work has been included in several prestigious exhibitions at public galleries, notably ‘A Very Peculiar Practice’ (City Gallery, Wellington, 1995), ‘Gruesome’ (Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Christchurch ,1998), ‘The Cartoon Show’ (Auckland Art Gallery, 2001) and ‘First -Time Caller’ (Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 2002).
In conjunction with art lecturing at various institutions, Braunias has been working with solid commitment to his art practice since he graduated in 1988, mapping out his ideas in journals that now reach years ahead.


Works by this Artist