Richard Killeen

Planes of Destiny

Planes of Destiny by Richard Killeen

Artwork Detail

Auckland artist Richard Killeen graduated from Auckland University School of Fine Arts in 1966. He had his first one-person show at Barry Lett Gallery in 1970, and has been a major figure in the New Zealand art world since that time, also showing internationally in Australia and America since 1984. In 1999, Francis Pound curated Stories We Tell Ourselves, The Paintings of Richard Killeen, which also toured New Zealand.

He is particularly known for his beautifully designed cut-outs, drawn from a vast and growing memory-bank of images.

More recently, Killeen has also moved into the field of digital prints on canvas. Planes of Destiny demonstrates the flawless surface achievable with this technique. Indeed at first glance, the work appears to be exquisitely finished objects in plastic or resin, subtly layered one on the other. Yet nature is never far from Killeen’s work, and while the title suggests a reading of the three foreground forms as fighter planes, the translucent mother of pearl wings that underlie the struts also suggest butterfly wings. The sinuous curving forms that weave both over and under the struts are reminiscent of the more naturalistic eels that populate other works currently on display. Planes of Destiny is a work that opens up a number of interpretations. The title may also refer to the picture plane of the canvas as well as the process of layering. At the very top a stylised flower can be made out, a traditional symbol of re-growth. With that in mind, the artist may also be drawing attention to the things that create our destiny as forcefully as nature itself.

Planes of Destiny
Richard Killeen
Production date
pigment inkjet print on canvas
1000 x 1000 x 35 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Patrons of the Auckland Art Gallery, 2010
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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