Richard Killeen is a much loved New Zealand art icon. Schooled at Elam in the mid 60’s meant he was one of the fortune few who learnt under the supervision of the highly respected Colin McCahon. He graduated in 1966 but it was another ten years until he cemented his status in the art sect. From there Killeen quickly became the focus point of many of New Zealands leading exhibitions. His clustered cut-outs have changed the way many artists approach arrangement and installation.
The loose and dynamic qualities of his hanging method opened up the possibilities for the functionality of his aluminium artworks. Painted abstract forms sit next to flora, fauna and everyday objects in complete hierarchy free harmony. Killeen’s artworks have stood the test of time. And, like many of his famous contemporaries his work remains as forward thinking, fresh and edgy as when they were first shown.
Carpet Bug is a strong display of the artists colour combinations and visual vocabulary. Repetition and consistency may trick you into thinking that your are looking at some kind of print but the image is completely hand painted. It takes a good inspection to notice Killeen’s deliberate differences and I’ll leave them for you to discover.
There is also something special behind this piece. Turn it around and you are able to read the journey it has made. From artist to Auckland City Art Gallery in 1976 then on to Peter Webb Galleries in 1998. The stained stamps are a lovely record and piece of history. As always we invite you to come and enjoy this work yourself while you can.
Carpet Bug, 1976
Acrylic and Ink on paper
650mm x 445mm