Michael Morley's paintings defy simple characterisation. Just as his music foregrounds the instrumental over the vocal, these quasi-representational paintings are defiantly dumb. They defer, they dodge, they’re unwilling to speak. They shrug off narrative, spectacle and conventional good taste. These paintings are cursory echoes of our current conditions—joyously playful and camp in their palette, form and materiality.

Best known for his work as an experimental musician, Morley is a member of seminal noise band The Dead C (together with Bruce Russell and Robbie Yeats). He also produces music under the moniker Gate, and has previously collaborated with artists Kim Gordon, Bill Nace, Lee Ranaldo, Nina Canal, Sara Stephenson, and others. In tandem with this musical career, he has consistently maintained a studio practice as a painter.


Michael Morley (b. 1963, Ahiriri Napier) lives and works in Kōpūtai Port Chalmers. He is a lecturer in painting and drawing at the Dunedin School of Art, Ōtepoti. His research expertise encompasses contemporary art, drawing, painting, video, and sound. He has exhibited and performed extensively across Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and his work represented in numerous important public and private collections throughout New Zealand and internationally.