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Don Driver


Wed 23 Jan 2013, 10:00am–4:00pm
Thu 24 Jan 2013, 10:00am–4:00pm
Fri 25 Jan 2013, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sat 26 Jan 2013, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sun 27 Jan 2013, 1:00pm–4:00pm

Where: Mahara Gallery, 20 Mahara Place, Waikanae, Kapiti Coast

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Related Artists:

Listed by: mahara

Don Driver was born in Hastings in 1930. He was largely self-taught. Since his early beginnings as an artist he was an astute and avid reader of modern art traditions, with his exploration into the nature of 'art' producing some of the most compelling and significant art of his time.

"Driver has a longstanding fascination with the formal and fetishistic properties of traditional African and Asian art, and has collected a number of Asian sculptures; he is particularly attracted to their raw power and dynamic forms. At the same time, Driver is keenly aware of contemporary Western art, and his early assemblage works have a strong affinity with Robert Rauschenberg's 'combines', and with the aesthetic of the Italian arte povera movement and its use of the humble organic and industrial materials." - 'Art at Te Papa' editor William McAloon

Don Driver's work is represented in the public collections of the Auckland Art Gallery, Te Papa Tongarewa, Govett Brewster Art Gallery, Christchurch Art Gallery, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Waikato Museum, Te Manawa, and the Dowse Art Museum.

‘Don Driver is now a Father figure in our own art history.… his life and work spans and reflects an important segment of the twentieth century. Based in New Plymouth, Driver confounded expectations throughout his career. He was an adept abstractionist and also a prolific assemblage artist. He produced sculpture and installation. He made collage. He was a wonderful colourist, but his work also displays a robust Monty Pythonesque sense of humour. Associated with both regionalism and internationalism Driver resisted and wriggled out of the neat classifications that defined the entire oeuvre of other artists of his generation.’ - ‘Grunt Work: Getting to Grips with Don Driver’ by Megan Dunn in ‘Don Driver’, Mahara Gallery, 2012

Don Driver’s work has already proved its vitality and longevity. Two of his early works, PS Handle with Care (1968) and La Guardia No 2 (1966) are in The Real Art Roadshow Collection which was launched at Mahara Gallery in 2007 and 2008 and now tours constantly around New Zealand schools. Both works were in his major retrospective survey show Don Driver, With Spirit mounted by the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in 1999.

This exhibition marks one year since Don Driver passed away. It presents a modest tribute to a generous and dynamic body of work which will continue to engage new generations. Don Driver said: “All works of art that people do come together, there is some sort of magic out there. Life is a mystery.” (1998)

We are very grateful to Hamish MacKay for his enthusiastic support for this new show of Don Driver’s work spanning 1977 to 2000 at Mahara Gallery. Thank you also to writer Megan Dunn for her vigorous catalogue essay. We warmly acknowledge the Deane Endowment Trust for their generous support of the publication. Mahara Gallery is grateful for ongoing support from the Kāpiti District Council, as the district public art gallery for the Kāpiti Coast.