Artist Profile

image coming soon

Kees Bruin

Christchurch New Zealand
Artist’s Statement

Kees Bruin synthesises. traditional realism with contemporary and photo-realistic techniques which portray his views on the world and his reflections on life.

In his continuing exploration of metaphysical themes, Kees categorises his painting into three overlapping disciplines: photo-realism, super-realism and what he terms “visionary realism”, which he describes as making the unseen seen. Elements of the past, present and a visionary future are interwoven to create arresting works that transcend their physical context.

Religious themes dominate his art as he draws on the rich iconography and spiritual heritage of Western philosophy to provide a fresh perspective on Christianity. His enduring, enigmatic works intrigue and tease with their tenuous play between the real and the symbolic - what seems to be and what is.


Born in New Zealand in 1954, Kees Bruin studied painting at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts under the tutelage of Rudy Gopas, William (Bill) Sutton, Ted Bracey and Doris Lusk, graduating with honours. He has worked as a professional artist for twenty-five years, exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions throughout New Zealand and internationally. His works are held in private and corporate collections in Holland, Italy, England, United States, Japan, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand, and in some of the most respected public collections in New Zealand and overseas.

Kees has represented New Zealand in art awards in England and Australia, and was an invited artist at the International Artist's Forum in Holland in 1990. He lives and works in Sumner, Christchurch.


2005 Finalist Cranleigh Barton Drawing Award

2003 Finalist Cranleigh Barton Drawing Award

2001 Finalist The Cranleigh Barton Drawing Award

1998 Art and Faith Award - Finalist

1993 James Wallace Art Award- Finalist

1987 The Blake prize for Religious Art in Australia - Finalist

1986 NZ Royal Commonwealth Overseas League Art Award - First Prize

1986 Montana Lindaur Art Award - Finalist

1985 Montana Lindauer Award — Finalist

1984 Williams Art Award — Finalist

1983 Tauranga National Art Award — First Prize

1977 NZ Royal Commonwealth Overseas League Art Award - First Prize


Canterbury University, 1976
CSA Gallery, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1992, 1994
Art for Christ’s Sake, CSA gallery, 1987
Real-Surreal, CSA Gallery, April 1992
Seascape Reflections, CSA gallery, 1993
Fax About Art, CSA Gallery 1994
Elva Bett Gallery, Wellington, 1978
Christchurch Teachers College, 1979
Contemporary New Zealand Realist Paintings, Auckland Art Gallery,
26 Oct. – 2 Dec. 1979
Gallery 111, Christchurch, 1983
Willeston Gallery, Wellington, 1984
Williams Art Award exhibition, National Gallery, Wellington, 1984
’60 from 1984, exhibition tour Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, 1984
Montana Lindauer Art Exhibition, Gisborne, 1985
Blake Prize for Religious Art tour exhibition, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart 1987.
Rotoart, Hamilton, 1985
Finalist Montana Lindauer Art Award exhibition, 1986
Group show of paintings and drawings, 1989
Canterbury Gallery (Papanui Rd, Christchurch), 1991
Contemporary Self-Portraits, Salamander Gallery, March 1992
Ten Paintings, Salamander Gallery, June 8- 21, 1992
Annual Spring Exhibition, Invercargill, October 1993
Real Vision, Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Nov. – Feb. 1994
About Town, Robert McDougall Art Gallery, 1995
Recent Acquisitions, Robert McDougall Art Gallery, 1995
Two Real, Robert McDougall Art Gallery, April – June 1997
Art & Faith exhibition, Auckland, 1998
Back to the Garden, Centre of Contemporary Art (CoCA, old CSA), 1999
Recent Works, CoCA, 2000
What Love Is This, Lincoln University, July 2000
Journey, Seven Plus group show (Chrysalis Seed Trust), CoCA, 13 Dec. -6 Jan. 2001
Emergence, Salamander Gallery, 2002
12: dialogues with time, Chrysalis Seed Trust group show, CoCA, 8-27 April 2003
(Inaugural) People’s Picture, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu atrium, Dec. 2004 – June 2005
Allusion & Illusion, Kees Bruin, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, 10 Feb. – 7 May 2006
The Chamber public art gallery, Rangiora, 2006
Night & Day, Chrysalis Seed Trust group show, CoCA, 9 March – 2 April 2005
Exhibition of giclees, Bryce Gallery, Christchurch, 2005
Existence: Life according to Art group show, Waikato museum, 2007-2008
Reconstruction: Conversations on a City, “Outer Spaces” outdoor exhibition programme [post-earthquake], Worchester Boulevard, Christchurch City Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, 2012
Muse, two-story outdoor shipping container canvas hanging at Sumner Cliffs (Peacocks Gallop), c/- L’Estrange Gallery, Sumner, 2012
Alexis Fine Art gallery commercial hangings, 2009 – 2012

Website developed by Intrepid Sparks