With a practice spanning over two decades, New Zealand artist Peter Robinson has continually varied his use of materials, techniques and the content he addresses throughout his career. Historically known for his critical exploration of issues of identity and ethnicity, Robinson's early works are intensely political and examine his Maori ancestry and biculturalism. More recently, Robinson has shifted from this rhetoric and weight of interpretation to focus more exclusively on exploring and celebrating the materiality of the mediums with which he works - such as felt, polystyrene and steel. Interested in the play between order and disorder, density and lightness, dispersion and compression, Robinson creates bold, monumental and irrepressible forms where the idea of sculpture is often momentarily balanced between building up and breaking down. Indeed, Robinson's affection for materiality is regularly experienced as profusion and excess.
Robinson has exhibited extensively internationally and locally. Selected exhibitions include: All our Relations,18th Biennale of Sydney, 2012; De-Building, Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand, 2011; The Influence of Anxiety, The Centre for Drawing Project Space, London, 2010; Polymer Monoliths, Artspace, Sydney, and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2009; Snow Ball Blind Time, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand, 2008; ACK!, Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand, 2006; Three Colours (with Gordon Bennett), Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2004-05; bi-polar, 49th Venice Biennale, Italy, 2001; and Superman in Bed - Collection Schürmann Kunst der Gegenwart und Fotografie, Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany, 2001.
Robinson has undertaken residencies in Germany (1996, 1999 and 2001) and Sydney (1998). In 2008 he won the Walters Prize, New Zealand's most prestigious contemporary art prize. His work is represented in public and private collections in Australia, Europe, New Zealand and USA.