Mark Cross

Liquid Landscapes : Mokohinau and Other Islands

14 February - 22 March 2015

Pierre Peeters Gallery // Parnell


Mark Cross, Schism (Mokohinau), Oil on Canvas, 2030 x 1010 mm, 2014.

Better known for his figures in landscapes, paintings that reflect the artist's humanistic interests, the figure has been totally abandoned in this recent series of paintings by Niue/Auckland based artist, Mark Cross. So too have strong landscape elements which in most of the works have given way to an emphasis on the effects of water, particular of the very clear variety where the viewer looks down into the foreground to see what is happening in great detail on the seabed..

In most cases, a depiction of place is not the main object here (although the artist has defined the image's origins by declaring them in parenthesis in the title).What is more important is the fascination for the combined effects of sunlight, reflection and refraction distorting the seabed by a stretching and compressing process often highlighted by the phenomenon of water caustics.

On the surface, there are no human elements to be found in the paintings but on close observation the cliffs and water tend to convey or contain a subtle anthropomorphic quality that take the paintings into another realm, beyond mere land/seascape.