Dick Frizzell (b.1943) has often slipped through the nets of traditional critical and curatorial definition and the success of his artistic career is, in part, due to the number of dramatic diversions he has made between different art styles and genres. Before moving into visual arts Frizzell worked in advertising. He has worked as an animator, commercial artist and illustrator and has no qualms about blurring the categories between his commercial work and art. His paintings are often a pastiche of images drawing on modern art and graphic design.


His work has always been characterised by a highly skilled handling of paint and an endlessly inventive range of subject matter and styles: faux-naive New Zealand landscapes, figurative still-life, comic book characters and witty parodies of modernist abstraction. His taste is conveniently broad and he has a penchant for fondly remembered and well-worn clichés. His work also portrays a sense of exuberance, ironic humour and baby-boomer nostalgia. An anti-traditionalist, Frizzell often makes a deliberate effort to mix up the categories of high and low art - poking fun at the intellectualisation of 'high art' and the existential angst of much New Zealand painting in the art culture of his youth.


Although primarily a painter, Frizzell also produces an extensive range of works on paper including lithographs and screen prints.



Ilam School of Fine Arts, Canterbury University, Christchurch



Something to Behold!, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington

Escape from Salvation Part III: The Dick Frizzell Group Show, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Selected Works, Milford Galleries, Queenstown

Paper Trail, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
Artist's Proof, MTG Hawke's Bay, Napier
When Tom and Elizabeth Took the Farm, Waikato Museum, Hamilton

Down the Road, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington

The Dance of Hooligans, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Dick Frizzell Exhibition, Old Government House, University of Auckland, Auckland

Painting the Hunt, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
Grand Central, Milford Galleries, Queenstown

Rugby, Rhyming and Here, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Selected Paintings 1981-2009, Milford Galleries, Queenstown

The Gloves are Off, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Works on Paper, Milford Galleries, Dunedin

Talking to Things, Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
Treasures from a Skull Cave, Black Barn Art Gallery, Hawke's Bay

Walking Back to Happiness, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

An Event of One: Dick Frizzell in Antartica, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

The Pumpkin is a Red Herring, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

Please Keep Us Safe While We Sleep by the Fire, Hawke's Bay Art Museum, Napier

Pleased to Remember, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
What is This, Gow Langsford Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Janne Land Gallery, Wellington

Welcome to Sunny Hawke's Bay, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

Home Truths, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington

Exhibition of Paintings, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch

Patched Up, Andrew Jensen Gallery, Wellington
What I am (The Junk Mail Narratives), Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

Dick Frizzell: Portrait of a Serious Artiste, City Gallery Wellington, Auckland Art Gallery, and Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Vanity, Vanity, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Popova to Remuera, John Leech Gallery, Auckland
Summer Muster, Andrew Jensen Gallery, Wellington
Construction from Freedom, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
Lost and Found, Lesley Kriesler Gallery, New Plymouth

Line and Point, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Christchurch
Ambitious Objects, Andrew Jensen Gallery, Wellington

P.O.P. Past on Paper, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington
Hoi Te Toi Te, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

No Figure Necessary, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
European Descendant, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington

Hook, Line, and Sinker, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington
The Agua Amarga Suite, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

South Island Landscapes, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Tiki: Works on Paper, Salamander Gallery, Arts Centre, Christchurch
Tiki, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

What's the Big Idea?, Janne Land Gallery, Wellington
South Island Landscapes, CSA Gallery, Christchurch

Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Big Paintings, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Images for Lovers, Works on Paper Gallery, Auckland

Lithographs, Muka Studio and Regent Hotel, Auckland
Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Janne Land Gallery, Wellington

Janne Land Gallery, Wellington
Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

Heads On, Denis Cohn Gallery, Auckland

Eh! Easy, Hard, Impossible, Carnegie Gallery, Dunedin

Escape from Salvation, RKS Gallery, Auckland
Still Lives, Denis Cohn Gallery, Auckland
Headlines, RKS Gallery, Auckland

Spring Show, Louise Beale Gallery, Auckland

Still Lives, Louise Beale Gallery, Wellington

Everybodies Business, RKS Art, Auckland, and Louise Beale Gallery, Wellington

Home is Where the Art is, RKS Art, Auckland, and Louise Beale Gallery, Wellington

Illustrations of America (The Dancing Chicken Show), RKS Art, Auckland, Elva Bett Gallery, Wellington, and Brooke Gifford Gallery, Christchurch

Putting it all on the Lion, Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland

A-fish-ial Exhibition, Barry Lett Gallery, Auckland



Populate, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, Christchurch

New Year, New Works, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

Tiki Tour, Whangarei Art Museum, Whangarei

Telecom Prospect: New Art New Zealand, City Gallery Wellington, Wellington

The Cartoon Show, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Auckland

Screens, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

Landscapes, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Spring Exhibition, Anderson Park Gallery, Timaru
Dream Collectors, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand, Wellington, and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, Auckland

Figurative Exhibition, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

Design Love Story, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin
Visa Gold Awards, New Gallery, Auckland

Stop Making Sense (collaboration with Shane Cotton), Wellington City Art Gallery, Wellington
Works on Paper, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
The Artistic Process, Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth
A Peculiar Practice: 40 New Zealand Painters, Wellington City Art Gallery, Wellington
H2O, Dowse Art Gallery, Lower Hutt
Gaugain Tribute, RKS Gallery, Auckland
Visa Gold Awards, Wellington City Art Gallery, Wellington
Test Strip Fundraiser Show, Test Strip Gallery, Auckland
Ho Ho Ho: Christmas Group Show, Andrew Jensen Gallery, Wellington

Landscape Survey, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Hammond, Frizzell, Stevenson, Gregory Flint Gallery, Auckland
The Spectrum Collection, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland
Visa Gold Awards, Wellington City Art Gallery, Wellington
Artist's Wallpaper, The Fisher Gallery, Pakuranga, Auckland
Artists Fax, CSA Gallery, Christchurch
Christmas Show, FHE Gallery, Auckland
Elvis in Geyserland, Rotorua Art Gallery, Rotorua

Artists Ceramics, The Fisher Gallery, Pakuranga, Auckland
Christmas Giving, Artspace Gallery, Auckland
Helping the Recovery, Works on Paper Gallery, Auckland

Works on Paper Gallery, Auckland
Big Green, Dowse Art Gallery, Lower Hutt
Real Surreal, CSA Gallery, Christchurch
Cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb, James Wallace Gallery, Wellington

Wild West Show, Lopdell House Gallery, Auckland
Art and Organised Labour, Touring Show



Jim & Mary Barr, Contemporary New Zealand Painters, Vol. 1, (Alister Taylor, 1980), pp. 80-85.

D. H. Binney, “Testing Reality the Paintings of Dick Frizzell”, Art New Zealand, No. 37, Summer, 1985, pp. 26-31.

D. H. Binney, “Landscape Reassessed: Some Auckland Artists”, Art New Zealand, No. 48, Spring, 1988, pp. 72-74.

D. H. Binney, “Trust Myself not to go Wrong: Dick Frizzell’s Tiki Show”, Art New Zealand, No. 66, Autumn, 1993, pp. 70-73, 99.

Elizabeth Caughey & John Gow, Contemporary New Zealand Art 2, (David Bateman Ltd, 1999), p. 60.

John Chadwick, Robin Craw, George Hubbard, Hamish Keith & Stuart McKenzie, Dick Frizzell: ‘Tiki’, (Gow Langsford Gallery, 1992).

Wystan Curnow, “Speech Balloons and Conversation Bubbles”, And 4 , October 1985, pp. 125-149.

Michael Dunn, Contemporary Painting in New Zealand (Craftsman House, 1996), pp. 64-67.

Hamish Keith, “Out of Africa”, Sunday Star Times, 29 September 2002.

Robert Leonard & John McCormack, “Beyond the Pale: Dick Frizzell’s indigenuity”, Art and Asia Pacific, June 1993, pp. 36-41.

Paul Little, “Being Dick Frizzell”, Audi Magazine, December 2002, pp. 52-57.

William McAloon, Situation & Style: Vestiges of Regionalism in Recent New Zealand Art (Jonathan Jensen Gallery, 1990).

Merata Mita, Peter Shand talks to Ngahuia Te Awekotuku; Dick Frizzell interviewed by Paul Casserly, “Tiki’s Off”, Stamp, December/January, 1993.

Gregory O’Brien, Lands and Deeds: Profiles of Contemporary New Zealand Painters, (Godwit, 1996), pp. 36-47, 209.

Francis Pound, New Image: Aspects of Recent New Zealand Art (Auckland City Art Gallery, 1983).

Grant Smithies, “Accidental Artist”,  Sunday Star Times Magazine, 21 September 2008, pp. 14-18.


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