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Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 4. 1969.

Art — Art in Colour and Copper


Art in Colour and Copper

The Don Driver exhibition at the Peter McLeavey Gallery, Cuba Street, is the first of what is hoped to be a series of successful exhibitions to be held there this year. The large square painting constructions emblazen the walls with colour and their seemingly flat paint surfaces of total colour, deepen or brighten by the super imposition of the diagnosed stripes crossing them. Driver began his work some years ago sculpturing small scale figures and it is clear trial the three dimensional aspects so necessary in sculpture have been incorporated into this later work.

Driver's work expresses similarities with some of the current American artists, reverting to pure classical lines of form. This formalism is undoubtedly a reaction against the romanticism and abstract expressionism of such artists as Pollack. Don Driver's work is not unique on adventivenes and owes much of its appeal to its well-painted professionalism and quality of finish.

The six painted reliefs on display are all of a similar design, and it is probably only the juxtaposition of the individual colours that makes some of the paintings more interesting than others. The raised diagonal stripes crossing the colour fields act as catalysts to the visual reaction of the mixing of the block colours.

The works are competently executed, smooth, glossy and perhaps too controlled. They present a modern, bland lace of pure colour; involvement in the impact of colour for its own sake. The exhibition will continue till 5 April.

Back across the road to the Kevin Raw-linson exhibition of his copper scultures at the Display Centre. The spindly copper creations would at first appear as a great insect exhibition and some of his works indeed have the beauty and fineness of one of delicately mounted insects.

But on the whole his work is unexciting and repeditive. His preoccupation with the mother child motif, the sitting woman, two figures—express an involvement with a tenderly nutured mother figure rather than an adult's supposedly later appreciations. The sculptures are based essentially on stick figures and their apparent one dimensional form is emphasised by the incompleteness and roughness of the figures from some angles.

Rawlinson's work is too stiff, too unemotional, probably too uninteresting to yet be considered the work of an artist. He has sought some sort of signature in his work, some sort of personal motif but this is not enough to bring a work of art to life.