Don Driver

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1930, d.2011

Painted Relief No. II

  • Purchased in 1972 with assistance from the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council
  • Acrylic on canvas and enamel on aluminium
  • 1515 x 1890mm
  • 72/40
  • 1972

For the exhibition Untitled #1050 (25 November 2017 – 14 October 2018) this work was displayed with the following label: “I try to create tensions between colours, shapes, shadows and reflections to create simplicity and ambiguity. […] I don’t like my painting to be evocative but to be something to be looked at for itself. It is a combination of flat surfaces and colours just nestling against each other.”

—Don Driver, 1979

earlier labels about this work
  • 1969 Comeback Special 27 August – 6 November 2016

    In June 1972, Painted Relief No. 11 was the winning painting in the Benson and Hedges Art Award at the Canterbury Society of Arts. Selected by the judge Elwyn Lynn from Sydney University’s Power Gallery of Contemporary Art, the work is part of a series of painted panel reliefs created by Driver during 1971–72. With its non-representational horizontal bands of colour, the painting created quite a stir throughout the country when it won the award. Driver added to the controversy when he stated the work was not one the average man would like: “I didn’t make it for popularity. I did it because that’s what I do... I try to create tensions between colours, shapes, shadows and reflections to create simplicity and ambiguity. And that, I think, is among the qualities the judge saw.” Muir agreed with the judge and acquired the work for the Gallery’s collection.