Acrylic on board
880 x 1210mm
Don Binney was born in Auckland. He studied at the University of Auckland School of Fine Arts from 1958–61, graduating with a diploma. He taught at Mt Roskill Grammar School until 1966 and in 1967 was awarded a QEII Arts Council Travel Fellowship which enabled him to travel to the USA and Europe. In 1968 he returned to New Zealand and in the same year was a finalist in the Benson and Hedges Art Award. Binney left New Zealand again in 1972 for Great Britain, travelling widely and returning in 1974. In 1975 he was a visiting lecturer at Elam and in 1978 was appointed a senior lecturer. Don Binney first exhibited at the Ikon Gallery in 1963. From then until 1973, he was regarded as being in the vanguard of young artists seen as leading the way towards the creation of an indigenous art form for New Zealand.
For many his images of local flora and fauna, the North Island’s West Coast coastline and skies created an expectation that Binney, as the creator of a quintessential New Zealand-ness in painting, would remain one of this country’s major painters. In fact he has seen his early acclaim evaporate and in the 1980s turned his hand to writing novels. Despite this, Binney’s works between 1963–73 are still very highly regarded. This 1962 modernist work in pale colours is of interest because it just pre-dates the first appearance of distinctive landscape elements in his work.