750 Painting
Peter Gibson Smith
Collection: Wallace Paramount Awards

Winner of the 2001 Paramount Award
750 Painting
Egg tempera on inlaid gesso on timber panels
1880 x 3100 mm
Collection of the James Wallace Arts Trust

Peter Gibson-Smith has been said to be the ‘greatest new talent to hit the art scene since Ingrid Banwell’.(1) Gibson-Smith has exhibited widely and has been the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Francis Hodgkins Fellowship in 1993, and has achieved QEII Arts Council Grants three successive years between 1987 and 1991. His painstaking methodologies result in highly worked, large scale works that have a depth and resonance; the attention to detail reminiscent of Renaissance painting. ‘Gibson-Smith’s work from 89 onward takes an appropriation of paintings of importance or interest in art history, re-inventing figures from Boticelli, Piero Della Francessca, and Masaccio.’(2)

Gibson-Smith is known for working with unorthodox materials (fax paper, silicone rubber) and is known for his masterly use of the ‘permanent and ancient’(3) medium of encaustic wax to create ‘seductive satin surfaces.’(4) His style is hard to categorize. Juston Paton has suggested the following; ‘Rococo fax-art? High-tech monoprinting? Thermal frottage? Post-modern Mannerism?.(5) Gibson-Smith incorporates symbols and text lucratively. He is known to use stamps in his meticulous building up of layers and shapes. The resulting effect is that his works have impact from up close and from afar.


(1) Julian Slade, Auckland City Harbour News. 19.4.96

(2) Rodney Palmer

(3) Julian Slade, Auckland City Harbour News. 19.4.96

(4) Warwick Brown, NZ Herald. 18.8.85

(5) Juston Paton, ‘Bathers’ by Peter Gibson Smith, Seargeant Gallery, June – August 1996

750 Painting