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James Ross is a celebrated New Zealand abstract painter whose work mixes architectural, sculptural and painterly elements. Ross' paintings are characterised by the use of multiple compositional elements, most notable of which are the interplay between organic motifs and rigid geometric forms a use of vivid, often primary, colour and an insistence on rejecting the traditional mode ofpainting as a canvas-based medium in favour of shaped structural supports, unconventional mounting angles and elliptical glass finishing.
As one of the first intake of students to the inaugural Bachelor of Fine Arts course at Auckland University in 1967, Ross was tutored in painting by Colin McCahon. As his career has progressed, he has been involved in many aspects of culturallife in New Zealand, including writing, curating exhibitions,teaching art criticism and editing catalogues and books. Ross has been the subject of major solo exhibitions and is represented widely in major New Zealand public art institutions as well as manyprivate collections. The Red Studio, a recent retrospective at Auckland University's Gus Fisher Gallery, focusedon Ross' particular fascination with the use of deep hues of redand his gradual movement from organic to rhomboidal formats and motifs over the past 25 years.