Don Driver

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1930, d.2011

Energy Triad

  • Purchased 1996
  • Mixed media
  • 1590 x 1390 x 400mm
  • 96/68.1-3
  • 1991

Op + Pop 6 February – 19 June 2016

The New Plymouth-based Don Driver worked from the mid-1970s until the 1990s on sculptural assemblages made from found materials. Echoing the work of American pop artist Robert Rauschenberg, whose work Driver had experienced while visiting New York in 1965, Energy Triad makes assertive use of familiar, locally sourced items, placing pioneering farming tools alongside advertising and road signage, all with a meticulous eye to formal balance and arrangement.

earlier labels about this work
  • Although many of Don Driver’s assemblages can be interpreted as witty comments about our throw-away culture, Driver’s concerns lie purely with the formal arrangement and juxtaposition of colour, texture and shape. Energy Triad contains specific references to New Plymouth where the artist lives. ‘Taranaki Colours’, ‘Jim’s Foodtown’ and ‘Tip Top’ – made from elements such as plastic tyres, scythes and road signs – all interact, contrast and reinforce each other in much the same way as the work of American assemblage artist Robert Rauschenberg. As such, Driver’s sculptures are not haphazard arrangements, but the result of considered selection and meticulous placement.

    Driver has lived in New Plymouth since 1943. His first job was with a dental technician learning how to mould, shape and cast materials. He took night classes in drawing and later learned woodwork, welding and pottery. He has been exhibiting his work since the 1950s and has travelled widely, including time in North America, Asia and India. 'With spirit: Don Driver a retrospective' toured New Zealand in 1999.

    (Label date unknown)