"Toying with the conventions of painting in particular, the work tends to loop on a flaring yet wistful engagement upon the profound unsteadiness of the art-making impulse."

John Reynolds has featured in many key exhibitions and publications on contemporary New Zealand art.  He has shown widely throughout the country, and been commissioned to produce projects for a wide range of New Zealand galleries, and the National Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney Biennale, 2006) becoming known as one of New Zealand's foremost painters and printmakers.

John began his career painting large abstract colourfields, slowly moving into structural text-based imagery. His paintings are rich with literary, religious, art historical and architectural allusions, frequently using both everyday and epic references. His works range inscale from works on postcards and stamps to a 2 x 12 metre painting, Hope Street, with his latest large work Clouds a feature work at the 2006 Zones of Contact Sydney Biennale. The work is made up of "New Zealandisms" taken from the Harry Orsman Oxford Dictionary of New Zealand English, which John has painted in metallic silver on 7,073 primed canvasses. These were hung randomly on the feature wall in the entrance hall of the National Gallery of New South Wales.

John won the Montana Lindauer Award in 1988, received a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Arts Council of New Zealand in 1993, won the Visa Gold Art Award in 1994 and was a finalist in the 2002 Walters Art Prize. He has collaborated with the painter Ralph Hotere (Icon) on the multi-panelled Winter Chrysanthemums, 1995 and also with the poet Leigh Davis on his boxed set of poems The Book of Hours, 2002.

In 2007 John was the focus of Shirley Horrocks' documentary Questions for Mr Reynolds, which screened at the Film Festival as well as on TV One’s Artsville.

In 2008 John had a limited edition book Certain Words Drawn, published by Random House. The book brings together examples of John's work and practice and contains essays by Ian Wedde (Laureate) and Leigh Davis (former AFNZ Trustee). The publication won a Gold Award at the 2008 Design Awards. In the same year he was a finalist in the 2008 Walters Prize, for the second time.

John Reynolds has based himself in Auckland throughout his entire career. 


From the Listener archive: Arts & Books. Sally Blundell writes about John Reynolds at the time of his publication 'Certain Words Drawn and exhibition 'Speaking Truth to Power' in Hawke’s Bay


See part 2 of John Reynolds creating a work to launch the new the Jaguar 2012 XF
The conclusion of a three part series following the creation of a work by Laureate John Reynolds called Racing Heart.
John Reynolds speaks to The Real Road Show about his art projects and his concern for drawing.
Cloud by John Reynolds - Tales from Te Papa episode 1
Part one of a three part series featuring John Reynold's Racing Heart art work for Jaguar.
   Born Auckland, New Zealand
    Graduated, BFA, Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland
   Began exhibiting
   Won the Montana Lindauer Award
    Visual Arts Fellowship from the Arts Council of New Zealand
    Won the VisaGold Art Award
   Walters Art Prize finalist
   Clouds a feature work at the Zones of Contact Sydney Biennale;Arts Foundation Laureate Award
   Documentary Questions for Mr Reynolds Film Festival screenings and TVOne's  Artsville.
  Limited edition book Certain Words Drawn published by Random House and won Gold Design Awards;Finalist in the 2008 Walters Prize.