Stephen Bambury

"Bambury's work has an immediate visual impact; its clarity of geometric image and constructional signposting is visceral, it is passionately felt and tenaciously pursued through variation on a repeating lexicon of formats and motifs. For good reason Bambury's art has often been understood as providing a modus vivendi between the orthodoxies of late modern formalism and the uncertainties, informalities and fluidities of the postmodern world.

Bambury's immersion in the history of abstraction has led him toward the interior of painting, to abstraction's intimations of depth and transcendence, as much as toward a clarification of the painting's exterior, the material and pictorial architecture of a painting as a physical thing. To this dialogue between the inside and outside of painting Bambury brings a language of exacting ambivalence. The formal hallmarks of his strategic reticence are incomplete doublings, mirrorings, reversals, bifurcations, and slipped alignments of an iconic alphabet of primary geometric components. Bambury also undermines the purity of the self-contained icon by the richness and atmospherics of the material surface. Shimmers of mineral irridescence, organic stains, vegetal change, and the thickness of light's passage are all conjured up through Bambury's investigative alchemy of painting both as being and appearance."

-Allan Smith


Stephen Bambury was born in 1951 in Christchurch, New Zealand. He received his BFA from the Elam School of Fine Art at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Bambury has worked and studied throughout New Zealand, Australia, France and the United States of America. He is a two time recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council Grant. Bambury currently lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.



New Zealand

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