Sunday, September 16, 2012

Don Binney 1940-2012

Don Binney died on Friday. His paintings of the mid-sixties with large native birds dominating New Zealand landscapes developed a great pictorial concept and rightly made him famous. Along with Robin White he helped establish a fresh way of looking at the New Zealand landscape that had for so long been dominated by Colin McCahon and Toss Woollaston. 

By the time we interviewed him for Contemporary New Zealand painters in the late 1970s, Binney was still trying to reconcile the public’s unwillingness to see him as anything other than the bird painter and this reluctance hurt. Don Binney was highly intelligent and strongly opinionated as well as articulate. It was a powerful mix that could be both stimulating and at times a challenge. The fact is he could just as easily have talked those birds down out of the trees. 
Image: Binney country, Bethell's Beach