ROBERT MCLEOD – Balancing Act – 8 Oct-2 Nov 2018
This is Robert McLeod’s first exhibition in Christchurch for ten years and is thus something of a ‘catch-up’ exhibition, featuring paintings that illustrate some of the strands in his work from 2010 to 2018.
His perverse ‘Disneyesque’ figures are a response to the current state of prejudice and intolerance in the world. McLeod comments that he “grew up reading science fiction, thinking that aliens were from Mars. [Now] America calls anyone they don’t want in their country an alien. That’s odd language to use to describe other humans.”
Born in Scotland in 1948, Robert McLeod studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1965-69 and moved to New Zealand in 1972. He currently lives and works in Wellington.
He looks for an emotional intuitive response to his work and in recent years he has been mining a rich vein of imagery in comic books and children’s cartoons. The work is intensely coloured, painted with bravado. His interest in the physical aspects of paint has led McLeod outside the realm of the traditional rectangular canvas in favour of more unconventional shapes that further emphasise the natural tendencies of paint. “I want [the paint] to be scraped, burnt, cut, pierced, scarred, glazed, wrinkled, aged like skin.”
He has exhibited extensively throughout New Zealand. In 2012 there was a survey exhibition of his work at Wellington City Gallery. Robert McLeod is represented in most major New Zealand collections including: Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand; Sarjeant Gallery, Wanganui; Auckland Art Gallery, Christchurch Art Gallery, James Wallace Collection.