Don Binney

Auckland, New Zealand, 1940-2012

Don Binney’s paintings, drawings and prints are amongst the most instantly recognisable and iconic images in New Zealand art, with their fluid forms, sense of air and space, and carefully observed depictions of native birds and landscape. Binney attended the Elam School of Fine Arts from 1958 to 1962, where he studied under Robert Ellis, whose diagrammatic and structural approach to landscape no doubt had an influence on his work, as did the hard-edged, graphic forms of pop art. Binney, like many of his generation and those to follow, also trained as a secondary school teacher in 1962, working as an art teacher at Mount Roskill Grammar school from 1963-66. He exhibited his work annually in the Auckland Art Gallery’s Contemporary New Zealand Painting series of shows from 1962-68, and in 1963 was part of the New Zealand contingent included in the Third Paris Biennale, alongside Pat Hanly and Tony Fomison amongst others. In 1965 Binney was included in the Eight New Zealand Artists exhibition that toured Australia’s state galleries, and placed his work alongside that of Colin McCahon, Robert Ellis, Milan Mrkusich, Greer Twiss, Tim Garrity and Ross Ritchie. In 1967, Binney received a Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council Travel Fellowship, which allowed him to travel through Europe and North America to study pre-Colombian Mexican art, specifically the ways these cultures depicted birds. From 1974-79 Binney returned to Elam as a tutor and part-time lecturer, becoming a full-time member of staff in 1982. He continued to teach at Elam until his retirement as Head of Painting in 1998. Binney was made an OBE for Services to the Arts in 1995.

Auction Results

Grackle, Veracruz

1970

screenprint on paper

620mm x 455mm

Achieved $2,696.75