Born in London in 1946, Peter Wichman moved to New Zealand with his family in 1960. He has an MA in English at Victoria University and an MLitt in Oxford, and studied drawing and painting at the Waikato Society of Arts. A literary historian as well as a painter, Wichman has had over twenty solo exhibitions, and has been a three-time finalist in the Wallace Art Awards.

Wichman brings his interest in literature and art history to bear on his paintings which generally deal with psychological and moral questions. Human passion, social responsibility, power struggle, conflicts of loyalty and the intrusion of the unexpected are themes which span his career. His pictures are highly narrative and often use references or symbols that suggest the recurring nature of experience. He attempts to portray the human predicament as something both eternal and immediate and, in doing so, he introduces figures from earlier cultures into his cast of contemporary characters.

Recently he has turned to still-life, by means of which he sought to reveal the mystery and uniqueness often overlooked in ordinary, even mass-produced household objects.



19 July - 13 August 2016

Suspect continues Peter Wichman's fascination with imagery drawn from literature. His imagination delves into worlds we are never quite sure of, they’re quirky, unsettling or strange, depending how we view them.

Quiet Life

6 - 30 November 2013

In Peter Wichman's still-life studies everyday objects are used over and over again to insist on their very ordinariness. At the same time, their value is increased by repetition, since repetition invites the viewer to look past the surface at the object's special clarity and appeal.


15 November - 3 December 2011

"Because [ordinary household objects] are commonplace they invite the observer to look for meanings behind appearances. Because they are commonplace, meaning is elusive. The more we question them the more we wonder whether they reflect the nature of human existence as a whole."

- Peter Wichman, September 2011


15 September - 6 October 2009

The works in Familial group together like a collection of short stories, dealing with the dark themes of power, love, violence and exploitation.


8 May - 1 June 2007

Nostalgia is a siren companion: it draws you back to the comfort and safety of the past only to reveal how little you can actually escape the present. You try to go home but discover that home is what you have now, for better or worse. And submit to it you must.
- Peter Wichman, 2007

Dance 1, 2007. Oil on canvas. 760 x 910 mm


Pyramid II, 2007. Oil on canvas. 920 x 1010 mm


Bouquet, 2011. Oil on canvas. 850 x 620 mm


Ball, 2011. Oil on canvas. 520 x 780 mm


Toothbrush, 2011. Oil on canvas. 570 x 730 mm


Scissors, 2011. Oil on canvas. 490 x 650 mm


Pink Bouquet, 2013. Oil on canvas, 820 x 700 mm


Grey Study, 2013. Oil on canvas. 650 x 1015 mm


Pink and Grey Study, 2013. Oil on canvas. 300 x 300 mm


Study with tube, 2013. Oil on paperboard. 210 x 295 mm


Study with Inks, 2013. Oil on canvas. 1015 x 710 mm


Yellow Vase, 2010. Oil on linen. 550 x 910 mm